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SIRT for Liver Cancer

SIRT for Liver Cancer

SIRT – innovative internal radiotherapeutic method. It has appeared recently and is used to remove malignant neoplasms in the liver. This is a high-tech therapeutic technique that gives specialists new opportunities to fight cancerous tumors against which other methods known in medicine are powerless.

Two separate procedures are performed for the right and left lobes of the liver. The therapy is carried out with a break of one month. After the procedure, the patient may feel some pain in the abdomen, migraine, nausea and bouts of vomiting.

Process of SIRT Selective Internal Radiation Therapy

Before manipulation, patients undergo a comprehensive examination. When conducting diagnostics, doctors pay special attention to determining the speed of blood flow and the body’s response to Yttrium-90. The total amount of radiation received with SIRT is about 40 times greater than with radio-therapy.

At initial stages, special microscopic radio-spheres with Yttrium-90 isotopes are placed in the neoplasm tissues. These elements are introduced with a needle through the inguinal zone into the hepatic artery. The procedure takes place with the use of local anesthesia. Doctors insert catheter in the artery closest to the liver.

Over the next two hours, the patient is under the supervision of specialists. First, the introduced microparticles stop the damaged vessels around the neoplasm, and then they act directly on the affected areas and destroy malignant cells. The active substance is concentrated only in the liver and practically does not affect other organs and systems.

What neoplasms is SIRT effective against?

Selective Internal Radiation Therapy – radiotherapeutic method to eliminate liver carcinomas cannot be removed with surgery. Sometimes you can find other names for this method: radio-embolization or transarterial chemo-embolization (TARE).

With the help of SIRT, targeted irradiation of the tumor occurs, since the active substance is injected directly in the artery that feeds the malignant formation. Healthy organ’s tissues receive their nutrition mostly from the portal vein. Thus, structures undamaged by pathology remain untouched by isotopes.

Contraindications for SIRT

It should be noted again that therapy can ONLY be prescribed for liver cancerogenic pathologies – SIRT treatment isn’t designed to remove formations affecting other organs. Also, such therapeutic technique is prohibited for use by pregnant women and patients who have previously undergone radio-therapy or liver brachytherapy courses.

How does SIRT differ from other tequinics?

  1. Since it’s carried out only in the liver, the active substance does not pass through the blood to other organs and, accordingly, does not affect them. Thus, with SIRT, more healthy cells are preserved, since radio-microspheres act directly on the affected structures. This distinguishes SIRT from chemotherapy. However, in some cases, isotopes can spread outside the liver (to the stomach and pancreas) – a possible side effect.
  2. When administered in conjunction with chemo-therapy, SIRT minimizes liver metastases spreading and significantly reduces the size of the neoplasm. At the same time, the patient’s life expectancy has increased by 65%.

Possible side effects of Selective Internal Radiation Therapy for liver cancer

  1. Abdomen ache.
  2. Attacks of nausea.
  3. Intumescence and redness in area where puncture was made.
  4. Significant increase in body temperature.
  5. Severe fatigue without exertion.

A severe reaction can be observed in cases where the radioactive substance migrates outside the liver – the overall clinical picture changes, which can be identified by specialists after the patient has passed the appropriate tests. Particularly severe consequences – inflammation in the gallbladder, the development of gastritis and duodenitis – are extremely rare.


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