What is the role of brachytherapy in the treatment of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC)?

Updated: Jan 31, 2021
  • Author: Luca Cicalese, MD, FACS; Chief Editor: John Geibel, MD, MSc, DSc, AGAF  more...
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Answer

Another treatment option involves the local delivery of low-dose brachytherapy to the tumor. One such treatment, TheraSphere (BTG, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada), uses 20- to 40-μm glass beads that are loaded with radioactive yttrium and delivered angiographically. The radiotherapy is then delivered over 10-12 days with a total dose of about 150 Gy. The maximum distance affected is 1 cm. [58]

Early reports suggested that a small number of patients can be successfully downstaged and subsequently transplanted by using this approach. Risks include radiation damage to nearby organs (eg, the gastrointestinal tract).


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