A radio oncologist and associate professor at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU), Dr. Laurie Cuttino has served as a faculty speaker for groups such as the American Brachytherapy Society and the American Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology. On the list of Best Doctors from the U.S. News and World Report, Dr. Laurie Cuttino works with the VCU hospital to provide innovative cancer treatments, such as selective internal radiation therapy (SIRT).
A targeted radiation therapy, SIRT can provide more effective treatment for tumors of the liver, delivering as much as 40 times the radiation while lessening radiation exposure for the rest of the body. Because of its minimally invasive nature, SIRT allows patients to go home on the same day of treatment.
SIRT works through a catheter inserted into the artery through a small incision in the groin area. X-ray imaging allows the interventional radiologist to direct the catheter to the liver and then use it to deliver small radioactive beads or microspheres known as SIR-Spheres to the liver. As the SIR-Spheres get stuck in the smaller arteries, they release high-level radiation, causing damage to the cancerous cells.