Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Targeted radiation to liver tumors spares tissue, improves quality of life


Radioactive spheres delivered via blood flow to tumor

Vanderbilt University Medical Center is offering the latest advancement for treating inoperable liver tumors.

Selective Internal Radiation Therapy (SIRT) targets a very high radiation dose to tumors within the liver, regardless of their cell of origin, number, size or location. The procedure uses biocompatible radioactive microspheres (SIR-Spheres®) that contain yttrium-90 and emit high energy beta radiation.

"The liver doesn’t tolerate external beam radiation in sufficient doses to affect tumor without damaging the remaining good liver," said Dr. C. Wright Pinson, H. William Scott Jr. Professor of Surgery and chair of the department. "These spheres emit radiation for a short distance, less than a centimeter. If you can cluster radiation right around the tumor, the radiation exposure at the tumor site compared to normal liver is favorable."

The spheres are implanted using a catheter placed in the artery feeding the liver and travel via the blood stream, where the spheres are targeted to the tumors within the liver. The spheres are trapped in the small blood vessels of the tumor (doctors do not have to identify the number or location of tumors, since the spheres target the cancerous growth in the liver) where they destroy the tumor without affecting most of the normal liver tissue.

In the procedure, an interventional radiologist selectively catheterizes the arteries feeding the tumor and monitors the catheter during administration of the dose. A nuclear medicine scan is done before the spheres are administered to assure that the catheter is correctly positioned and that the tumors will be properly targeted.

The patient stays overnight and is discharged the next day. "The early reports describe enhanced survival rate," said Pinson, who expects as many as 50 patients could be offered the therapy within the next year at VUMC.

A randomized trial in patients with colorectal liver metastases conducted by Sirtex, the manufacturer, showed the median survival rate doubled from 12.8 months with chemotherapy alone to 27.1 months with SIRT and chemotherapy. SIRT is another means of attack in the battle against liver cancer. "This is not a cure. It’s a prolongation of life and an improvement of survival and quality of life," said Dr. Bill Martin, associate professor of Radiology and Radiological Sciences at Vanderbilt. However, unlike many cancer therapies, side effects are minimal.

"For the patient, it’s a one-time deal and they feel relatively fine afterwards. We don’t do too many procedures like that."

Many patients experience a post-procedural fever that starts immediately after implantation of the spheres and can last from a few days to a week. The fever is usually nocturnal and is likely related to the embolic effect of the microspheres and the acute radiation effects on the tumor. Some patients experience significant abdominal pain immediately after the procedure and may need pain relief with narcotic analgesia, but the pain generally subsides within an hour. Some patients will experience nausea that may require anti-emetic medication. The therapy has been used to treat hundreds of patients with liver cancer in Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Singapore and Thailand. and more recently in the United States in a variety of clinical trials and in general practice.

Clinton Colmenares | EurekAlert!
Further information:

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht NIH scientists describe potential antibody treatment for multidrug-resistant K. pneumoniae
14.03.2018 | NIH/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases

nachricht Researchers identify key step in viral replication
13.03.2018 | University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Locomotion control with photopigments

Researchers from Göttingen University discover additional function of opsins

Animal photoreceptors capture light with photopigments. Researchers from the University of Göttingen have now discovered that these photopigments fulfill an...

Im Focus: Surveying the Arctic: Tracking down carbon particles

Researchers embark on aerial campaign over Northeast Greenland

On 15 March, the AWI research aeroplane Polar 5 will depart for Greenland. Concentrating on the furthest northeast region of the island, an international team...

Im Focus: Unique Insights into the Antarctic Ice Shelf System

Data collected on ocean-ice interactions in the little-researched regions of the far south

The world’s second-largest ice shelf was the destination for a Polarstern expedition that ended in Punta Arenas, Chile on 14th March 2018. Oceanographers from...

Im Focus: ILA 2018: Laser alternative to hexavalent chromium coating

At the 2018 ILA Berlin Air Show from April 25–29, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT is showcasing extreme high-speed Laser Material Deposition (EHLA): A video documents how for metal components that are highly loaded, EHLA has already proved itself as an alternative to hard chrome plating, which is now allowed only under special conditions.

When the EU restricted the use of hexavalent chromium compounds to special applications requiring authorization, the move prompted a rethink in the surface...

Im Focus: Radar for navigation support from autonomous flying drones

At the ILA Berlin, hall 4, booth 202, Fraunhofer FHR will present two radar sensors for navigation support of drones. The sensors are valuable components in the implementation of autonomous flying drones: they function as obstacle detectors to prevent collisions. Radar sensors also operate reliably in restricted visibility, e.g. in foggy or dusty conditions. Due to their ability to measure distances with high precision, the radar sensors can also be used as altimeters when other sources of information such as barometers or GPS are not available or cannot operate optimally.

Drones play an increasingly important role in the area of logistics and services. Well-known logistic companies place great hope in these compact, aerial...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Industry & Economy
Event News

Ultrafast Wireless and Chip Design at the DATE Conference in Dresden

16.03.2018 | Event News

International Tinnitus Conference of the Tinnitus Research Initiative in Regensburg

13.03.2018 | Event News

International Virtual Reality Conference “IEEE VR 2018” comes to Reutlingen, Germany

08.03.2018 | Event News

Latest News

Wandering greenhouse gas

16.03.2018 | Earth Sciences

'Frequency combs' ID chemicals within the mid-infrared spectral region

16.03.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Biologists unravel another mystery of what makes DNA go 'loopy'

16.03.2018 | Life Sciences

Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>