A type of radiation therapy used to treat liver cancer or cancer that has spread to the liver. A thin, flexible tube is used to inject tiny beads that hold the radioactive substance yttrium Y 90 into the main blood vessel that carries blood to the liver. The beads collect in the tumor and in blood vessels near the tumor, and the yttrium Y 90 gives off radiation. This destroys the blood vessels that the tumor needs to grow and kills the cancer cells. Radioembolization is a type of internal radiation therapy. Also called intra-arterial brachytherapy.
Other synonyms include:
Selective Internal Radiation Therapy (SIRT)
SIRTEX (the manufacturer of the beads)
Y-90 resin microspheres
Neuroendocrine Neoplasms (NENs) present complex challenges to diagnosis and treatment. Even in metastatic cases spreading to the liver there are some important differences compared to the more common types of gastrointestinal tumours and pancreatic adenocarcinomas, e.g. their sometimes indolent nature and their ability to oversecrete hormones causing distinct clinical syndromes. Also, the tumours are known to be highly vascular which is a feature where growth inhibition and symptom relief may be achieved by specific 'blocking' agents - this is particularly the case with liver metastases in well differentiated Neuroendocrine Tumours (NETs). Spread to the liver may occur from NETs of the foregut, midgut as well as hindgut. NET metastases are usually multiple and of varying size. In most cases both liver lobes are affected, but widespread (miliary) seeding throughout the…