Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine.
Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine

Houston Methodist DeBakey Heart & Vascular Center

Heart Tumor Program

Heart Tumor Treatment, Education & Research at Houston Methodist Hospital

Treatement Options

What Treatments Are Commonly Available?

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A. Right atrial sarcoma
B. Tumor resected to include tricuspid valve and right coronary artery
C. Tricuspid valve replaced
D. Right atrium replaced with Bovine pericardium and right coronary artery replaced with right internal mammary artery

Treatment of both benign and malignant heart tumors typically requires comprehensive diagnostic workup followed by surgical removal. Depending on the location of the tumor, complete resection (removal) may not be possible using standard surgical techniques.

What Makes the Heart Tumor Program at Houston Methodist Hospital Different?

At the Heart Tumor Program, patients have access to a combination of novel treatments and approaches that is unavailable anywhere else—and that yields superior outcomes year after year.

Each patient’s plan of care is designed under the direction of a unique multidisciplinary team comprised of imaging specialists, cardiologists, oncologists, and surgeons from Houston Methodist DeBakey Heart & Vascular Center as well as MD Anderson Cancer Center.

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Left atrial sarcoma as seen after explantation of the heart for cardiac autotransplantation, next picture is reconstruction of the left atrium with Bovine pericardium after complete tumor removal.

Individualized Approach
No two heart tumors are exactly alike, and at the Heart Tumor Program, we take a patient-centric approach to every case in our mission to achieve the best outcomes possible. While surgery is our specialty, we recognize that for many patients, chemotherapy, radiation, and other therapies play an equally vital role. And if surgery is called for, our surgeons can perform resections ranging from simple to complex, including minimally invasive techniques whenever possible.

Autotransplantation offers new hope to patients with heart tumors in areas that cannot be reached through traditional surgical methods. In this complex procedure, the surgeon removes the heart from the body, reconstructs it as needed following removal of the tumor, and re-implants it. The Heart Tumor Program’s Dr. Michael J. Reardon performed the first successful autotransplant in the world for a malignant heart tumor and is widely recognized as the preeminent expert in this technique.

Superior Outcomes

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The above graph shows dramatically better survival rates for patients treated with a the multimodailty approach of the Heart Tumor Program (green line) compared to others.1
The above graph shows dramatically better survival rates for patients treated with a the multimodailty approach of the Heart Tumor Program (green line) compared to others.1
Our novel methods and individualized approach continue to yield positive results for our patients. A recent nationwide study of angiosarcoma, the most common malignant primary heart tumor, reported a survival rate of about 10% over 9 to 12 months. However, among patients treated at the Heart Tumor Program, we’ve seen a 1-year survival rate of 80.9% and a 2-year survival rate of 61.9%—and one of our current patients is a 9-year survivor.

For more information about the Heart Tumor Program or to schedule an appointment, please call 713-DEBAKEY (713-332-2539), or email us at hearttumors@houstonmethodist.org.

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1Source: Houston Methodist DeBakey Cardiovascular Journal 2010 Sep; Vol. 6(3): 36
Blue line: Medical therapy alone
Red line: Historical results with surgery
Green line: Outcomes with the multimodality approach of the Heart Tumor Program (see #7 under Publications)