The Y-90 Microspheres surround a tumor in this rendering courtesy of SirtexMedicalCoxHealth is the first hospital in Southwest Missouri to offer new proven technology for inoperable liver cancer, Yttrium-90 (y-90). More than 30 patients at CoxHealth have benefited from the state-of-the-art minimally invasive, outpatient cancer treatment since July 2013.
While not typically a curative treatment, there are benefits for patients with metastatic liver cancer. “Sometimes you can get a transplant if the liver cancer is your primary cancer,” explains Dr. Charles Woodall, Surgical Oncology. “Y-90 can shrink tumor size to keep a patient on the transplant list longer. Additional benefits include an extended life, improved quality of life and fewer side effects as typically felt after standard cancer therapy.”
Now liver cancer patients, who previously traveled out of town for treatment, can get treated closer to home. “Of our liver cancer patients at CoxHealth, 95-98 percent of them are now being treated in Springfield,” says Woodall.
Microspheres (the yellow dots seen in the illustration above) are injected into the tumor through a catheter in the femoral artery in the groin. Resin beads containing Y-90 are inserted through the catheter and navigated into the arteries of the liver. “These tiny beads, which can fit between the ridges of your fingerprints, have a limited range of emission. This allows high doses of isolated radiation directly to the site of the tumors, causing cell death without harming surrounding healthy tissue in the liver,” says Woodall.
Patients wanting to learn more may call Ferrell Duncan Interventional Radiology at 417/269-4076.