SIRT (Selective Internal Radiation Therapy) is a targeted radiation therapy that uses SIR-Spheres® microspheres to treat metastatic liver cancer.
During the procedure, a small flexible tube is guided through the artery into the liver and millions of microscopic spheres (each about a third of the width of a human hair) are delivered directly into the tumor where they become trapped. The SIR-Spheres microspheres emit beta radiation for a period of about two weeks.
This targeted therapy delivers a dose of internal radiation up to 40 times higher than conventional external beam therapy. Normal liver tissue takes about 90% of its blood supply from the veins, while liver tumors receive about 90%of their blood supply from arteries. This allows SIR-Spheres microspheres to target the liver tumors with a tumor-killing dose of radiation via the hepatic artery, while sparing surrounding healthy liver tissue.
Common Side Effects
Some patients may experience abdominal pain or tightness in their abdomen, nausea and loss of appetite which normally subsides within a week. Many patients may develop a mild fever that may last for up to a week and fatigue which may last for several weeks. As a precaution, specific medications are prescribed to control these symptoms.
The treatment normally takes about 60 to 90 minutes. Patients will be sleepy during the procedure but able to communicate with the doctor and the team. Most patients return home 4-6 six hours following treatment.