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SIR Spheres Y-90

Selective Internal Radiation Therapy (SIRT) is used to treat liver tumors that cannot be removed by surgery. The most common use is to shrink liver tumors that have spread from the colon.

SIR Spheres Y-90

250 N Wickham Road
Melbourne, FL 32935
321-752-1200

SIR-Spheres microspheres treatment, offered at Melbourne Regional Medical Center, is a targeted radiation therapy that delivers a dose of internal radiation up to 40 times higher than conventional external beam therapy while sparing healthy tissue. This maximizes the treatment’s effectiveness and reduces the risk of injury to the liver. The treatment is typically administered as an outpatient procedure at a local treating hospital.  

Who IS SIRT Suitable for?

SIRT is only suitable for patients who have liver tumors where either the liver is the only site of disease or the liver is the major site of disease. SIRT has no effect on tumors outside the liver.Before SIRT can be offered as a treatment option for patients, there are a number of other factors that have to be considered by your doctor. Most importantly, you need to have a sufficiently healthy liver that is working satisfactorily. This is usually determined by a simple blood test.

How are SIR-Spheres administered?

SIR-Spheres are administered through a process called SelectiveInternal Radiation Therapy (SIRT).During the procedure, aninterventional radiologist makes a small puncture, usually into the femoral artery near the groin. A small flexible tube, known as a catheter is then guided through the artery into the liver and millions of microscopic spheres (about a third of the width of a human hair), are delivered directly into the tumor. The entire procedure takes about 90 minutes. Patients will be sleepy during the procedure but able to communicate with the doctor and the team. Most patients return home four to six hours following treatment.

What are the potential benefits of SIR Spheres Y-90 Resin Microspheres? 

Clinical data shows that when used in combination with chemotherapy, SIR-Spheres Y-90 resin microspheres may shrink patients’ liver tumors more than chemotherapy alone, improve quality of life and increase life expectancy. For a small number of patients, treatment can cause sufficient shrinkage of the liver tumor to permit its removal by surgery at a later date. In patients whose liver tumors are no longer responding to chemotherapy, SIR-Spheres Y-90 resin microspheres have also been used successfully to shrink these tumors and extend patients’ survival. There are many publications in the scientific literature on the use of SIR-Spheres Y-90 resin microspheres in the treatment of patients with liver metastases.

What side effects and complications can I expect?

When properly administered, most side effects are typically mild and subside within several days.Post treatment side effects can include abdominal pain and/or nausea which normally subside after a short time and/or with routine medication. Patients may also develop a mild fever that may last up to a week and fatigue which may last for several weeks. As a precaution, we may recommend additional medications with theaim of preventing or minimizing these side effects. In rare instances there is a possibility that a small number of microspheres may inadvertently reach other organs in the body, such as the gall bladder, stomach, intestine or pancreas. If SIR-Spheres microspheres reach these organs, they may cause inflammation of the gall bladder (cholecystitis), stomach (gastritis) or intestine (duodenitis). These complications are rare, but if one of these occurs, they willrequire additional treatment. Your treatment team will have received special training to minimize these risks and to prevent them from happening.

Features of SIRT

  • Uses the same blood supply that feeds liver tumors to deliver radiation that can kill these tumors.
  • Gives much higher doses of radiation to liver tumors over much longer periods of time than would be possible with external beam radiation.
  • Delivers only a small dose of radiation to healthy liver tissue.