Indiana University Logo Here is some good news for physicians treating patients diagnosed with late-stage inoperable liver cancer. Radiologists from the Indiana University School of Medicine assert that Y-90 microsphere radio – embolization can be effective for treating inoperable liver cancer. The glass spheres supposedly contain a radioactive element, yttrium-90, that is more commonly known as Y-90. These spheres apparently emit radiation for a very limited distance so that healthy tissue around the tumor remains unaffected.

Scientists subjected more than 300 patients to Y-90 radioembolization some 3 years ago. As a result, 40 percent patients treated with radioembolization reported tumor shrinkage. The outcome probably remained stable for three months. During the Y-90 radioembolization treatment, a catheter is inserted through a tiny incision in the groin. This catheter is then threaded through the arteries until it reaches the hepatic artery, one of two blood vessels feeding the liver. The hepatic artery seems to be the one that most commonly supplies blood to the cancerous tumors.

Daniel E. Wertman Jr., M.D., co-director of vascular and interventional radiology and assistant professor of clinical radiology at the Indiana University School of Medicine, and colleagues claim that when the catheter is in the proper place, millions of the microscopic beads containing Y-90 are released. The microspheres may lodge in the smaller vessels that directly feed the tumor, so blood flow is halted and radiation to kill the tumor cells gets emitted. It was mentioned that patients need not be segregated on completion of the treatment with Y-90 and are usually released around three hours after the treatment.