Isolated Limb Infusion (ILI)

Isolated limb infusion (ILI) is a method of delivering super-high doses of chemotherapy directly to the tumor in an extremity. At Moffitt Cancer Center, this is one of the many advanced therapies that our oncologists use to treat in-transit and recurrent melanoma, as well as unresectable soft tissue sarcoma of the extremities.

During an ILI, the limb is isolated from the rest of the body by use of a tourniquet. Blood is routed through a heating source and chemotherapy is added to it, effectively treating just the tumor(s) in the affected extremity without releasing any chemo into the rest of the body. Chemotherapy is administered directly to the arm or leg where the tumor is located. The medications are allowed to penetrate by circulating the drugs in the extremities for 30 minutes. Then, the chemotherapy is flushed out of the limb and the tourniquet is removed to restore blood flow to the area.

Isolated limb infusion can be used to treat:

  • Unresectable, in-transit melanoma
  • Merkel cell carcinoma
  • Extremity soft tissue sarcoma

At Moffitt, we evaluate many different factors pertaining to a patient’s diagnosis to determine the most effective forms of treatment. ILI can be highly effective for patients who are diagnosed with upper and lower limb tumors, including lesions in the arms, hands and feet. It can also be an ideal treatment option for patients who wish to avoid the side effects of systemic (whole body) immunotherapy or chemotherapy. Isolated limb infusion has also helped some individuals with extensive tumors successfully preserve their limbs when amputation was recommended.

To learn more about isolated limb infusion and whether it’s right for you, call 1-888-663-3488 or submit a new patient registration form online to request an appointment at Moffitt. We welcome patients with and without physician referrals.