Selective Internal Radiation Therapy (SIRT) is the means of using radiotherapy to control and attack liver cancers that can’t be removed using surgical methods. SIRT involves injecting tiny “microspheres” of radioactive material into the arteries that supply the tumor. The spheres lodge in the small vessels around the liver tumor and reduce the supply of blood to the effected area, causing the tumor to no longer receive the nutrients it needs to grow. Meanwhile the radiation payload contained in the microspheres is able to destroy the existing cancer cells.
A benefit of the microspheres is that they emit radiation to an area a few millimeters around where they are trapped. This allows for very little damage to the healthy tissues surrounding the effected area.
Selective Internal Radiation Therapy takes approximately one hour and will often require two sessions to treat the entire liver. The second session generally occurs about a month after the first session.