St. Luke's University Health Network

Select Internal Radiation Therapy

Select Internal Radiation Therapy used
for liver tumors

Select Internal Radiation Therapy (SIR-Spheres) for inoperable liver tumors is available through St. Luke's Interventional Radiology Department and St. Luke's Radiation Oncology Department. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration-approved therapy is for patients with primary colorectal cancer that has spread to the liver and has failed to respond to chemotherapy. Radioactive micro-spheres are inserted directly into the liver artery that supplies the tumor using X-ray guidance. The micro-spheres irradiate the tumor with selected internal radiation therapy, leading to the destruction of the tumor.

SIR-Spheres deliver much more radiation directly to the tumor than is possible with conventional external-beam radiation, and SIR-Spheres leave most of the normal liver tissue unaffected. Quality of life may improve and life expectancy may increase for patients who have the procedure. For a small number of patients, SIR-Spheres can cause significant shrinkage of the liver tumor, allowing for surgical removal at a later date.

For more information call the St. Luke's InfoLink toll-free at 866-STLUKES (785-8537).