Radio Embolisation / SIRTS

When cancer cannot be treated by surgery, a non-invasive treatment called Radio Embolisation or SIRT (Selective Internal Radiation Therapy) can be used. SIRT can be used to selectively target non-operable tumours in the liver.

This minimally invasive process is used to manage cancer cells by injecting tiny microspheres of radioactive isotope Yttrium-90 directly into the tumour. Targeted doses of radiation are delivered to the localised area of liver via an artery through the groin, causing minimal damage to the surrounding tissue.


When Is This Procedure Conducted?

The aim of the procedure is to slow the growth of cancer. It may be performed alone or in combination with conventional therapies. It is a local therapy, meaning it only treats the targeted cancer cells where the radioactive isotope delivered. It is a two-step process with each procedure performed approximately one week apart.


How Does This Procedure Work?


First Stage:

A small catheter is guided to the blood vessels that supply the liver. The interventional radiologist will map out the blood vessels of the liver, and may block some of them to ensure the radiation is only administered to the tumour. Once this is done a test dose of the specially prepared beads that contain the radiation is delivered. This is to confirm that the radiation stays in the liver and also helps work out the appropriate radiation dose required.


Second Stage:

The second procedure is similar to the first where a catheter is guided to the blood vessels that supply the liver and the specially prepared beads that contain the radiation are delivered. When the beads land in the tumour they emit a form of radiation energy that kills the cancer cells over a small area surrounding the bead.

An overnight stay in hospital is typical.


How Will I Feel After The Procedure?

Following the treatment some patients suffer with general fatigue which tends to pass between 7-21 days, depending on the level of treatment.


How Successful Is Radio Embolisation and SIRT?

The success of Radio Embolisation and SIRT depends on the size of the tumour and cancer cells, however it is effective in prolonging the life of a cancer patient.


Summary of Benefits of Radio Embolisation and SIRT

  • Radio Embolisation is mainly a palliative and not curative treatment.

Patients can benefit from:

  • Increased quality of life
  • Longer life
  • Minimally invasive procedure so recovery time is very short
  • Higher doses of radiation can be delivered to local areas with less surrounding damage
  • Fewer side effects

Our supportive team is available to answer any concerns or questions you may have relating to Radio Embolisation and SIRT. Please Contact Us for more information.