For patients with liver cancer, learning about the most appropriate treatment offers a new step toward recovery.
Adventist Cancer Institute offers a unique therapy called Selective Internal Radiation Therapy (SIRT), which delivers tiny radioactive beads, or microspheres, directly to the liver tumor. The procedure, also known as yttrium-90 (y-90), is performed by an interventional radiologist, who works directly with the patient's oncologist throughout this course of treatment. This therapy can be performed in conjunction with traditional cancer therapies and provides new hope to patients whose cancer was once thought to be incureable.
SIRT is tailored to the patient’s needs based on whether the cancer starts in the liver—such as hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), the most common form of primary liver cancer—or has migrated to the liver from another location, known as metastatic or secondary liver cancer.
During the procedure, a catheter is guided through an artery into the liver and millions of microscopic spheres—about a third of the width of a human hair—are delivered directly into the tumor. The microspheres target the liver tumors with a cancer-killing dose of radiation while sparing surrounding healthy liver tissue, something not typically possible with conventional external beam radiation.
The entire procedure takes about 90 minutes. Patients will be sleepy during the procedure but able to communicate with the doctor and the team. Most patients return home four to six hours following treatment. And often, the procedure either reduces or eliminates liver tumors and the accompanying pain after just one treatment.