TheraSphere® is a treatment for liver cancer that prolongs life for patients who cannot undergo liver surgery (resection), and for whom standard chemotherapy is not appropriate, or has not been effective.
TheraSphere delivers radiation directly to tumors in the liver using millions of tiny beads. The beads, which measure one third the diameter of a human hair, contain a radioactive element called Yttrium-90. TheraSphere is administered through a catheter that is placed into a large artery at the top of the leg via a small puncture through the skin. Using X-ray guidance, the catheter is advanced to the hepatic artery, one of the liver’s main blood vessels. TheraSphere is then injected to the part of the liver where the tumor or tumors are present. Once in place, the Yttrium-90 emits very high doses of radiation “from the inside out” to destroy cancers cells.
TheraSphere is typically an outpatient procedure that does not require hospitalization. It is well tolerated by patients, with side effects that are normally milder than with many other liver cancer treatments.
Because Yttrium-90 radiation poses little danger to others, patients do not have to remain in the hospital under any kind of isolation. This allows them to interact with family and friends soon after the procedure.