Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Y-90 liver cancer-busting treatment: Safe, fast, extends life, study finds

Date:
March 28, 2011
Source:
Society of Interventional Radiology
Summary:
Interventional radiologists have been the leaders in the use of intra-arterial yttrium-90 radioembolization, since its introduction in 2000, to treat liver cancer. Now, new results from a large multi-institutional study show that treating liver tumors with higher doses of Y-90 than previously tried is safe, provides results when chemotherapies have failed, preserves the patient's quality of life -- and can be done on an outpatient basis.

Interventional radiologists have been the leaders in the use of intra-arterial yttrium-90 radioembolization, since its introduction in 2000, to treat liver cancer. Now, new results from a large multi-institutional study show that treating liver tumors with higher doses of Y-90 than previously tried is safe, provides results when chemotherapies have failed, preserves the patient's quality of life -- and can be done on an outpatient basis. This study, presented by researchers at the Society of Interventional Radiology's 36th Annual Scientific Meeting in Chicago, Ill., further validates previous findings on the safety and efficacy of liver cancer treatments using Y-90.

"We knew that this unique interventional radiology treatment, done on an outpatient basis, which combines the radioactive isotope Y-90 into microspheres (small beads about the width of five red blood cells) that deliver radiation directly to a tumor, was one of the best ways to give patients a treatment that doesn't harm healthy cells," explained Riad Salem, M.D., MBA, FSIR, professor of radiology, medicine and surgery, and director, interventional oncology, division of interventional radiology, department of radiology at Northwestern University in Chicago, Ill. "Now we know that patients can actually tolerate much higher doses of radiation than previously thought, which provides results in patients progressing on standard chemotherapy," noted Salem. "While patients aren't cured, their lives are being extended with less down time and their quality of life is improving," he emphasized.

The four-year prospective study looked at 151 patients (the group was 55 percent male, with an average age of 64 years) with liver metastases from colorectal, neuroendocrine and other cancers. In the United States, 20,000 cases of primary liver cancer are diagnosed each year. For metastatic colon cancer, that number is 150,000 per year. "The surgical removal of liver tumors offers the best chance for a cure," explained Salem. "For many reasons, a majority of patients are not candidates for surgical resection. Liver tumors are often inoperable because the tumors may be too large or numerous or have grown into major blood vessels or other vital structures. Historically, chemotherapy drugs become less effective as the disease progresses," he added.

Radioembolization is a palliative, not a curative, treatment -- but patients benefit by having their lives extended and experiencing fewer side effects (such as the fatigue that can last for seven to 10 days after standard cancer therapy). In this study, several subgroups showed high rates of progression-free survival, such as 186 days for neuroendocrine patients compared to 95 days for colorectal cancer patients. "These rates are an excellent indicator of the treatment's effectiveness," said Salem.

For example, a 60-year-old woman with advanced liver cancer that had metasasized from neuroendocrine tumors had lesions that were progressing as she continued standard chemotherapy treatments. Salem noted, "At the study's higher dose, we were able to reverse the progression and achieve shrinkage of the tumors without any adverse events." He said that more research is planned, including combining Y-90 treatments with chemotherapy, increasing and fractioning the dose.

With the Y-90 radioembolization treatment, the microspheres are injected through a catheter from the groin into the liver artery supplying the tumor. The beads become lodged within the tumor vessels where they exert their local radiation that causes cell death. This technique allows for a higher, local dose of radiation to be used, with no danger from radiation to the healthy tissue in the body, said Salem. And, he says, since Y-90 radiates from within and, since it is administered in the hepatic artery, it can be viewed as "internal" radiation.

In treating cancer patients, interventional radiologists can attack the cancer tumor from inside the body without medicating or affecting other parts of the body. Y-90 treatment adds to interventional radiology's nonsurgical advances for liver cancer, such as delivering chemotherapy directly to the affected organ (chemoembolization), killing the tumor with heat (radiofrequency ablation) or freezing the tumor (cryoablation) to treat cancer locally. Interventional radiologists are at the forefront of patient need as they discover more ways to alleviate patient fears and provide reassurance on the safety and efficacy of these kinds of targeted, minimally invasive treatments.

"This study, at several very skilled and high profile centers, including Northwestern University, the Mayo Clinic, Johns Hopkins, Albany Medical Center and the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee, is one of the initial steps prior to other international multicenter studies," said Salem.

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission recently changed its guidelines in order to create a specific pathway for interventional radiologists to become authorized users. Last month in Arizona, 106 participants attended the SIR's Y-90 course, developed to ensure that SIR members not only meet but exceed these requirements.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Society of Interventional Radiology. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Society of Interventional Radiology. "Y-90 liver cancer-busting treatment: Safe, fast, extends life, study finds." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 28 March 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/03/110328092409.htm>.
Society of Interventional Radiology. (2011, March 28). Y-90 liver cancer-busting treatment: Safe, fast, extends life, study finds. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 29, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/03/110328092409.htm
Society of Interventional Radiology. "Y-90 liver cancer-busting treatment: Safe, fast, extends life, study finds." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/03/110328092409.htm (accessed July 29, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Deadly Ebola Virus Threatens West Africa

Deadly Ebola Virus Threatens West Africa

AP (July 28, 2014) West African nations and international health organizations are working to contain the largest Ebola outbreak in history. It's one of the deadliest diseases known to man, but the CDC says it's unlikely to spread in the U.S. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
$15B Deal on Vets' Health Care Reached

$15B Deal on Vets' Health Care Reached

AP (July 28, 2014) A bipartisan deal to improve veterans health care would authorize at least $15 billion in emergency spending to fix a veterans program scandalized by long patient wait times and falsified records. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Two Americans Contract Ebola in Liberia

Two Americans Contract Ebola in Liberia

Reuters - US Online Video (July 28, 2014) Two American aid workers in Liberia test positive for Ebola while working to combat the deadliest outbreak of the virus ever. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

AP (July 28, 2014) Classes are being offered nationwide to encourage African Americans to learn about cooking fresh foods based on traditional African cuisine. The program is trying to combat obesity, heart disease and other ailments often linked to diet. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins