What is TheraSphere?
TheraSphere is a targeted liver cancer therapy with low toxicity, consisting of millions of tiny glass beads containing radioactive Yttium-90. The glass beads (20-20 micrometers in diameter – about a third of the width of a human hair) are delivered directly to the liver tumors. TheraSphere treatment is commonly referred to as selective internal radiation therapy (SIRT), transarterial radioembolization (TARE) or simply radioembolization.
How Does TheraSphere work?
- A doctor injects a patient’s hepatic artery in the liver through a small flexible tube known as a catheter.
- The tiny radioactive glass beads flow directly into the live tumor via its own blood vessels and become permanently lodged in the small blood vessles.
- The radiation destroys the tumor cells from within the tumor, with minimal impact to the surrounding healthy liver tissue.
- The tiny glass beads will deliver most of the radiation (>95%) to the tumor in the first two weeks following the TheraSphere treatment.
When can my doctor use TheraSphere?
TheraSphere is a humanitarian use device (HUD) for treating cancer that started in your liver (hepatocellular carcinoma or HCC).
- It can be used to downstage tumors to become eligible for surgery or transplantation.
- It is also the only medical device approved in the United States to treat primary liver cancer patients with portal vein thrombosis (PVT).
- Your doctor may use TheraSphere to treat your liver cancer if it cannot be removed by surgery.
- Your doctor may use TheraSphere to treat your liver cancer while you wait for a liver transplant if you are a candidate for liver transplantation.
Who is TheraSphere suitable for?
TherapSphere is suitable for patients where the liver is the only site of disease or the liver is the major site of disease. TheraSphere has no effect on tumors outside the liver.
In prescribing TheraSphere as a treatment, your doctor has taken into consideration several factors such as liver performance status, medical history, previous therapy and the liver blood flow to minimize side effects and optimize therapy to your liver.