A minimally invasive procedure to treat liver cancer called radioembolization with yttrium Y-92 Albuquerque combines embolization and radiation therapy. In this procedure, tiny glass or resin beads filled with the radioactive isotope yttrium Y-92 are placed inside the blood vessels that feed a tumor so that the radiation can kill cancer cells throughout the liver before the isotope breaks down and leaves the body naturally through urine, stool, and sweat within 4–6 hours. This procedure was approved by the U.S.
What is radioembolization?
Y-92 Albuquerque is a minimally invasive procedure that combines embolization and radiation therapy to treat liver cancer. Tiny glass or resin beads filled with the radioactive isotope yttrium Y-92 are placed inside the blood vessels that feed a tumor. The radiologist will inject tiny particles containing the radioactive material into the bloodstream, so they can travel through the body and block off blood flow. This cuts off the blood supply to the tumor, starving it of nutrients and eventually causing it to shrink. The treatment usually takes one hour, but can be completed in as little as 15 minutes if necessary.
How radioembolization works
This procedure is done by an interventional radiologist who inserts a catheter into the femoral artery in the groin and threads it up through the vena cava, which carries blood from the lower body back up to the heart. The catheter is then guided into the hepatic artery, which brings blood from the spleen and stomach to feed a tumor. Tiny glass or resin beads filled with the radioactive isotope yttrium Y-92 are placed inside these vessels that feed a tumor. The therapeutic dose of radiation generated by radioembolization kills cancer cells. When needed, this treatment can be combined with the surgical removal of tumors. Radioembolization is a minimally invasive procedure where healthy liver tissue typically remains intact while tumors receive higher doses of radiation than they would have received had they been treated only with external beam radiation therapy.
Advantages of radioembolization
A minimally invasive procedure, radioembolization combines embolizing and radiation therapy. Tiny glass or resin beads filled with the radioactive isotope yttrium Y-92 are placed inside the blood vessels that feed a tumor. This treatment reduces the need for surgery, decreases patient hospital stay time, and can produce better liver cancer outcomes. Radioembolization is an excellent option for patients who have liver cancer that is large but not dangerously so, those who can’t undergo surgery due to health reasons, and those who want an alternative non-surgical treatment option.
Disadvantages of radioembolization
Although the procedure is minimally invasive, it has some drawbacks. Radioembolization can cause side effects such as nausea, vomiting, low blood counts, or infection. Patients may need time off work and may have restrictions on their activities for a few days after treatment. More serious complications are rare but can happen. Radioembolization is not appropriate for all patients and should only be used in people who cannot have surgery or who have not responded well to conventional treatments like chemotherapy or radiation therapy.
Who is a candidate for radioembolization?
Y-92 Albuquerque is an option for patients who cannot have surgery but have been told they need treatment for their liver cancer. Patients are examined by a physician or radiation oncologist and if the patient qualifies, then a CT scan is done of the abdomen and pelvis to pinpoint the tumor. Radioactive beads are then inserted into the vein that feeds blood to the tumor, which makes it shrink. The patient must be healthy enough for general anesthesia and not pregnant because of potential risks from radiation exposure. Patients should also not be allergic to iodine or shellfish because of potential side effects from these substances during injection into a vein. Before undergoing this procedure, you may want to ask your doctor about any possible benefits vs. risks and how long you can expect to feel after the procedure.
How to prepare for radioembolization
The best way to prepare for radioembolization is by being in good health, eating a well-balanced diet, and getting plenty of rest. You should also stop smoking before the procedure.
When you arrive at the hospital, your doctor will draw blood and test it for clotting ability and signs of infection. After this process is completed, you will be given a radioactive isotope called yttrium Y-92 which will be injected into your arm intravenously. Next, they will place a tiny glass or resin beads filled with the radioactive isotope Y-92 inside the blood vessels that feed a tumor. Once the radioactive material is inside these vessels, they are heated up so that the particles cannot escape.
The entire procedure usually takes about 2 hours and may cause some discomfort during or after treatment such as fatigue, nausea, or vomiting (though medication can help reduce these symptoms). It is not necessary to stay overnight at the hospital but if you do need assistance post-treatment contact our nursing staff immediately.
What to expect during and after radioembolization
Y-92 Albuquerque is a minimally invasive procedure that combines embolization and radiation therapy to treat liver cancer. Tiny glass or resin beads filled with the radioactive isotope yttrium Y-92 are placed inside the blood vessels that feed a tumor. This treatment can be used for patients who do not have any other options or for those who have not responded well to chemotherapy. It is also an alternative for patients who refuse surgery. Radioembolization may result in side effects including nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, fever, decreased appetite, hair loss, and fatigue. Patients may experience nausea and vomiting during or immediately after the procedure which will last about 24 hours.
Risks and side effects of radioembolization
Side effects of radioembolization can include fever, nausea, abdominal pain, and diarrhea. Radioactive yttrium Y-92 is excreted through the urine for up to 6 weeks after the procedure and may be detected by a Geiger counter. Patients are typically advised not to have any contact with pregnant women or children during this time period. You should avoid being near people who are likely to get an X-ray in the next six weeks. If you need an X-ray at any time, tell your doctor that you had a Y-92 Albuquerque treatment so he or she will know how much radiation dose to give you.