Treatment Goals of Selective Internal Radiation Therapy

 

SIR-Spheres pic

SIR-Spheres
Image: altabatessummit.org

Dr. Laurie Cuttino serves as a radiation oncologist and associate professor at Virginia Commonwealth University and treats patients at Henrico Doctors’ Hospital in Richmond. Experienced in accelerated partial breast irradiation, Dr. Laurie Cuttino and her team recently began offering selective internal radiation therapy with SIR-Spheres.

Also known as radioembolization, selective internal radiation therapy is a treatment used to manage inoperable liver cancers. The treatment is provided by a radiologist and is often used in combination with chemotherapy or surgery. The procedure involves the use of a microcatheter to insert microspheres in the liver’s primary blood supply, the hepatic artery, which then release radiation and block blood supply to the tumor.

Due to the advanced stage the cancer has reached by the time selective internal radiation therapy is applied, treatment goals often focus on extending the survival of the patient and slowing the progression of the cancer. However, the therapy can also alleviate symptoms, and in some cases the tumor may be downsized enough that surgical procedures such as liver ablation or transplantation may be possible.

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