The glass spheres contain a radioactive element, yttrium-90, more commonly known as Y-90, which emits radiation for a very limited distance so that healthy tissue around the tumor remains unaffected. (2.5mm or less than 1/16th inch in soft tissue).
Y-90 microsphere radioembolization is an FDA-approved procedure first used in the United States in 2002. The outpatient procedure has gained favor with interventional radiologists for treating a type of cancer that is becoming more prevalent due to an increase in the cases of hepatitis and obesity, which along with alcoholism are the three primary causes of liver cancer.
Daniel E. Wertman Jr., M.D., co-director of vascular and interventional radiology and assistant professor of clinical radiology at the Indiana University School of Medicine, said more than 300 patients have been treated with Y-90 radioembolization since the program was initiated at Indiana University Hospital and the Indiana University Melvin and Bren Simon Cancer Center more than 3 years ago.
"I'm really excited about the treatment," said Dr. Wertman. "I think it's probably the best thing that has happened in our specialty."
His colleague, Matthew S. Johnson, M.D., professor of radiology and surgery at IU, reports very positive results with critically ill patients undergoing the treatment. Forty percent of his patients treated with radioembolization had tumors shrink or remain stable at three months. This is exceptional news since patients with advanced liver cancer have few options, he explained.
"I am not aiming for a cure, I'm aiming to extend their lives and make them feel better," said Dr. Johnson.
Physicians agree that liver cancer is a very complex disease. "With the Y-90 radioembolization, the disease can be address with a minimally invasive treatment and through a little band-aid sized incision we can solve very complicated problems," said Dr. Wertman.
A catheter is inserted through a tiny incision in the groin and threaded through the arteries until it reaches the hepatic artery, one of two blood vessels feeding the liver.
The physiology of the liver makes it an ideal organ for this type of treatment. The hepatic artery is the one that most commonly supplies blood to the cancerous tumors.
When the catheter is in the proper place, millions of the microscopic beads containing Y-90 are released. The microspheres lodge in the smaller vessels that directly feed the tumor, stopping blood flow and emitting radiation to kill the tumor cells.
Patients need not be isolated after treatment with Y-90 and usually are released about three hours after the treatment.
What Y-90 offers, Dr. Johnson said, is optimism. "Hope is a magical thing."
Mary L. Hardin | EurekAlert!
Finnish research group discovers a new immune system regulator
23.02.2018 | University of Turku
Minimising risks of transplants
22.02.2018 | Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg
A newly developed laser technology has enabled physicists in the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics (jointly run by LMU Munich and the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics) to generate attosecond bursts of high-energy photons of unprecedented intensity. This has made it possible to observe the interaction of multiple photons in a single such pulse with electrons in the inner orbital shell of an atom.
In order to observe the ultrafast electron motion in the inner shells of atoms with short light pulses, the pulses must not only be ultrashort, but very...
A group of researchers led by Andrea Cavalleri at the Max Planck Institute for Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) in Hamburg has demonstrated a new method enabling precise measurements of the interatomic forces that hold crystalline solids together. The paper Probing the Interatomic Potential of Solids by Strong-Field Nonlinear Phononics, published online in Nature, explains how a terahertz-frequency laser pulse can drive very large deformations of the crystal.
By measuring the highly unusual atomic trajectories under extreme electromagnetic transients, the MPSD group could reconstruct how rigid the atomic bonds are...
Quantum computers may one day solve algorithmic problems which even the biggest supercomputers today can’t manage. But how do you test a quantum computer to...
For the first time, a team of researchers at the Max-Planck Institute (MPI) for Polymer Research in Mainz, Germany, has succeeded in making an integrated circuit (IC) from just a monolayer of a semiconducting polymer via a bottom-up, self-assembly approach.
In the self-assembly process, the semiconducting polymer arranges itself into an ordered monolayer in a transistor. The transistors are binary switches used...
Breakthrough provides a new concept of the design of molecular motors, sensors and electricity generators at nanoscale
Researchers from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS (IOCB Prague), Institute of Physics of the CAS (IP CAS) and Palacký University...
15.02.2018 | Event News
13.02.2018 | Event News
12.02.2018 | Event News
23.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy
23.02.2018 | Health and Medicine
23.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy