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Y-90 Treatment for Liver Cancer

Top Doctor for Y-90 Radioembolization in Los Angeles

What is Y-90 radioembolization?

Y-90 radioembolization is a minimally invasive procedure that combines embolization and radiation therapy to treat liver cancer. This advanced treatment is also known as Yttrium 90 radioembolization, Yttrium 90 Therapy, or selective internal radiation therapy.

Glass or resin-made tiny beads filled with the radioactive isotope yttrium Y-90 are injected inside the blood vessels that feed a tumor. These beads are smaller in diameter than a human hair. This both blocks the blood supply to the cancer cells and delivers a high dose of radiation to the tumor while sparing normal tissue.

This treatment is an outpatient procedure done at our medical center. It can help extend the lives of patients with inoperable tumors and improve their quality of life.

How the radioembolization procedure is performed

Using x-ray imaging and a contrast material to visualize the blood vessels, the interventional radiologist inserts a catheter through the skin into a blood vessel and advances it to the treatment site. The radiation-filled microspheres, or glass beads, are then inserted through the catheter and advanced to the blood vessels supplying the tumor with blood.

Once the microspheres lodge at the cancer site, they deliver a high dosage of radiation directly to the cancerous cells. This method ensures that the liver tumors receive a targeted radiation therapy, minimizing the exposure to the normal liver tissue. The microspheres will block the flow of blood to the tumor, depriving the diseased cells of the oxygen and nutrients needed to grow.

Y-90 Mapping Angiogram

A crucial step before the Y-90 treatment is the Y-90 mapping angiogram. This preliminary procedure allows the interventional radiologist to map the blood vessels and ensure the precision of the Y-90 treatment, optimizing the delivery of the radioactive microspheres to the tumor.

What to expect after Y-90

After the Y-90 treatment, most patients may experience mild side effects such as fatigue, nausea, or abdominal pain, which typically subside within a few days. Patients are advised to rest and hydrate well following the procedure. Regular follow-ups are essential to monitor the treatment response and manage any potential side effects.

Side Effects of Y-90 Radiation Therapy

Common side effects include post-embolization syndrome, characterized by flu-like symptoms, fever, and fatigue. These symptoms are usually mild and temporary. Serious complications are rare but may include liver function changes or gastrointestinal issues.

Y-90 Radioembolization Q & A

Illustration of transparent body showing the liver where y90 treatment is performed for liver cancer

Radioembolization can help slow down the growth of cancers that began in the liver or have spread to the liver from other parts of the body.

What types of tumors can be treated?

Radioembolization is used to treat cancers that began in the liver or have spread, or metastasized, to the liver from another part of the body. This includes primary liver cancer, such as hepatocellular carcinoma, and metastatic liver cancer. It is a palliative treatment, which means it does not provide a cure but instead helps slow down the growth of the disease and alleviate symptoms. The procedure is an option for patients who are not candidates for other treatments, including surgery or liver transplantation.

Does Y-90 cure cancer?

Y-90 treatment doesn’t completely cure liver cancer. Instead, it helps to slow down the growth of liver tumors and make patients feel better. It can help them live longer and have a better quality of life. But, it’s not a treatment that gets rid of the cancer completely.

How many times can you do Y-90 treatments?

The number of Y-90 treatments a patient can receive depends on various factors, including the size and location of the tumors, liver function, and overall health of the patient. Repeat treatments may be possible if the initial response is favorable.

What is the survival rate after Y-90 treatment?

Clinical studies have shown that Y-90 treatment can significantly improve survival rates for patients with liver cancer, particularly those with inoperable tumors. The specific survival rate varies based on individual patient factors and the extent of the liver disease.
Dr. Navid Eghbalieh of SCMSC is the liver cancer surgeon who does y90 treatment in Los Angeles

Navid Eghbalieh, MD, DABR

Liver Cancer Treatment using Y-90 Radioembolization

Image-guided, minimally invasive procedures such as radioembolization are most often performed by a specially trained interventional radiologist in an interventional radiology suite or occasionally in the operating room.

At our medical center, Dr. Navid Eghbalieh does more Y-90 cases treating liver cancer than any other physician in the nation.

Additionally, he is a proctor for teaching other physicians how to do the Y90 procedure. He has established a “Center of Excellence” for Y90 procedures here at SCMSC. Lastly, he is on the cutting edge of future Y90 treatments and is involved in multiple FDA trials for Y90 therapies.

Treatment Goals & Patient Benefits:

  • Extend life
  • Increase the time until other treatments are needed
  • Shrink tumor size and in some cases allow for removal of the cancer
  • Improve quality of life
  • Give fewer side effects
  • Provide symptom relief by surgery
  • Slow cancer growth

If you have been diagnosed with liver cancer, contact our office to schedule an appointment, call 818-900-6480.

The above information is not all inclusive of the risks, alternatives and benefits. It is not meant to be a substitute for informed discussion between you and your doctor, but can act as a starting point for such a discussion. There are complications possible with any medical procedure. Overall, minimally invasive procedures have a lower complication rate than open surgeries.

Make an appointment at SCMSC

We look forward to welcoming you

Schedule an evaluation with Dr. Eghbalieh at Southern California Multi-Specialty Center.

SCMSC staff in Los Angeles welcoming a liver cancer patient for y90 treatment