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NEW POSSIBILITIES IN
CANCER TREATMENTS

Our physicians use state-of-the-art technology in their fight against cancer. We evaluate every cancer patient and find the most appropriate treatment plan possible, one that offers the best chances for a cure. Using the most advanced interventional radiology (IR) procedures and imaging modalities we treat tumors directly, and avoid many of the drawbacks of more systemic treatments.

Radioembolization (Y-90) for Liver Tumors

Tumors

About the procedure Radioembolization is a minimally invasive treatment option for patients with cancerous tumors of the liver that cannot be effectively treated by other means. The procedure is sometimes called SIRT (Selective Internal Radiation Therapy) or Y-90 (because of the tiny radioactive beads containing Yttrium-90 used to treat the cancer). These microscopic radioactive spheres are injected through a catheter into the blood vessels that feed the tumors. Once there, they begin to emit radiation, killing the cancers.

Why it’s done

Radiation therapy is not new in the treatment of cancer. The radioembolization procedure is generally considered safer than other forms of radiation therapy, however, because the radioactive Y-90 beads are targeted directly at the tumors themselves. Healthy tissue in other areas of the liver suffers minimal damage from the radioembolization because of the precise positioning of the particles. Because of this, radioembolization produces far fewer side effects than systemic radiation, which may expose other areas of the body. Once injected into the tumors, the radiation level of the spheres depletes naturally over the course of a month, so that any leftover particles can safely remain in place and do not require removal.

What to expect

Preparation: You will go home the same day of the procedure. Please discuss any medications you are taking, including herbal supplements, with your CiC physician. You may be advised to stop taking aspirin, NSAIDs, or blood thinners for several days before the procedure. You will be advised not to eat for several hours beforehand, and you should plan to have someone available to drive you home afterwards. You may also need to make plans for assistance during your at-home recovery, because your contact with children and adults may be restricted for 3-7 days.

During: The actual procedure will be performed in two phases. During the first phase, your CiC interventional radiologist will examine your liver to identify arteries that may be feeding the tumors. In the second phase, the doctor inserts a tiny catheter into the liver artery, guides it into place, and injects the Y-90 beads. Follow-up scans may be required to ensure that the beads were delivered into the tumors, and that they did not travel to other areas of the body.

After: After each of these treatment phases, the catheter will be removed and you will be asked to lie flat on your back in a recovery room for a while. You may experience some nausea, fever, or pain immediately after the procedure and for the next few days, but if so you will be given medications to control it. Once at home, you should not engage in any kind of strenuous activity for several days. Full recovery usually takes 7 to 10 days. For the month following the procedure, you should check in regularly with your CiC physicians so they can monitor your progress.

Getting the best cancer care

Whatever form your cancer has taken, you can count on receiving the best liver cancer treatment possible from the specialists at Comprehensive Interventional Care Centers.

Radiofrequency
of Spinal
Metastases

Chemo-
embolization/
Drug Eluting
Beads

Radio-
embolization
(Y-90) for Liver
Tumors

Central Venous
Catheter
Placement

Cryoablation

Radiofrequency
Ablation (RFA)

Port Placement
for Chemo-
therapy

Preoperative
Embolization of
Tumors

Microwave
Ablation

One Team, Your Team

Joel R. Rainwater, MD
Joel R. Rainwater, MD

Chief Medical Officer

James R. McEown, MD
James R. McEown, MD

Internal & Emergency Medicine, Phlebology

Karen Garby, MD, RPhS
Karen Garby, MD, RPhS

Director of Venous Intervention

David Lopresti, MD
David Lopresti, MD

Medical Director, Interventional Radiology

Michael Switzer, MD
Michael Switzer, MD

Interventional Radiology Endovascular Specialist

Michael H. Makki, DO, FACC
Michael H. Makki, DO, FACC

Interventional Cardiology

Jeff Braxton, MD, FACS
Jeff Braxton, MD, FACS
Kevin Duwe, MD
Kevin Duwe, MD

Interventional Radiology Endovascular Specialist

Christy Holmstrom, RRA, RPA
Christy Holmstrom, RRA, RPA