Radiotherapy offers new treatment option for liver cancer
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IMAGE: Images show (a) contrast material-enhanced CT scan before yttrium 90 of an 87-year-old man with 4-cm hepatocellular carcinoma in right lobe. (b) Contrast-enhanced MR image at subsequent 9-year follow-up (now… view more 

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Credit: Radiological Society of North America

OAK BROOK, Ill. – A novel technique that delivers high doses of radiation to tumors while sparing the surrounding normal tissue shows promise as a curative treatment option for patients with early-stage liver cancer, according to a study published online in the journal Radiology.

Curative treatment options for early-stage hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), the most common type of liver cancer, include surgery, liver transplantation and radiofrequency ablation. However, many patients are not candidates for these therapies due to the presence of other conditions. In addition, these treatments carry significant costs and potential complications.

Radiation segmentectomy (RS) is a minimally invasive option that uses the radioisotope yttrium-90 (Y90) to destroy tumors. The isotope is embedded into tiny beads that are delivered through a catheter into a blood vessel in the liver. They then travel to the site of the tumor, where they come to rest and deliver their radioactive effect while sparing much of the surrounding healthy tissue.

The procedure’s name derives from the fact that surgeons divide

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