Mike F.

Mike's story

"After initially being told the tumors in my liver were inoperable, I received four rounds of HAI pump therapy which shrank my tumors so they could be surgically removed."

Individual results may vary. Talk to your physician about the risks and benefits of the therapy and to find out if the 3000 HAI Pump is right for you.

Mike's story

Diagnosis: Stage 4 colorectal cancer liver metastases
Age at diagnosis: 43

In 2016, Mike had run a marathon with a personal best, beating his record from 15 years earlier. He was in his physical prime and lived an active outdoor lifestyle but had ignored signs of not feeling right. He was more fatigued than normal and had seen blood in his stool that his doctor thought was due to irritable bowel syndrome. In February of 2017 Mike still wasn’t feeling like his normal energetic self; he was fatigued, and his body felt like it was slowing down. He asked his doctor if he should get a colonoscopy, a routine procedure that took three months to schedule. When he finally woke up from the routine procedure, the gastrointestinal doctor diagnosed him with a rectal tumor and referred him to an oncologist. His oncologist diagnosed stage 4 colorectal cancer with liver metastases and told him his liver was inoperable.

“As an entrepreneur and son of a retired gastroenterologist, I was used to investigating new technologies and learning how medical treatments worked.” When his doctors told him the National Institute of Health guidelines for treating liver metastases from colorectal cancer were built around 70-year-old males, Mike felt confident he could do better than the 5-year survival rate of about one in 10 patients the doctors quoted. He called on six different oncologists at six different hospitals.

None of them offered options that provided the long-term survival potential he sought. Finally, another doctor told him about Hepatic Artery Infusion (HAI) therapy and the Intera 3000 HAI Pump. After reading the long-term survival data in published papers, Mike decided this was the best option for him.

Mike had the pump implanted in June of 2017 and within five months of Hepatic Artery Infusion therapy, the doctors told him his liver was ready for resection. He had surgery in November of 2017. When the tumors in his liver returned, his doctors were able to reactivate the HAI pump therapy to help shrink the tumors enough for a second surgery in October 2020. “After a 13-hour liver resection surgery, I woke up and was told I was cancer-free.”

Since being given this news, Mike has cherished returning to his active family life.


Q: What is it like to live with the pump?
At first it felt like my pump moved around. But over time I got used to how it feels in my body. The pump’s chemo delivery is great because I didn’t have the same physical side effects as I did with systemic chemo, like hair loss and nausea.

In terms of physical activity, it doesn’t stop me from walking and swimming. I continue to ski, but my days of going off cliffs are behind me. It doesn’t get in the way of daily living. Last summer I went camping to watch the lunar eclipse and painted my house. I don’t even think about the pump being there anymore.
Q: Can you tell us about the refill process?
My local clinic had never done it before, so the nurses were nervous in the beginning. Now I’m in and out in about five minutes. The refill is pretty painless, and I can’t tell the difference between refills of saline versus chemo.
Q: If you were talking to a patient right now, what would you say?
A cancer diagnosis is traumatic. The numbers are bad, and when you start filtering by age, education, and resources, the picture might get better or worse. There are things you can do, such as change your diet and identify and take actionable steps. It can be overwhelming, so start making headway on things you can do. Having hope is 90% of it.

Click here to Find An HAI Center near you to locate the nearest HAI specialist to discuss your treatment options.