Topic: SIR-Spheres: Selective Internal Radiation Therapy (SIRT)

My husband is scheduled for this procedure on April 10 at the University of Colorado Hospital.  The technique uses millions of tiny polymer beads (microspheres) which contain a radioactive element yttrium-90.  This outpatient procedure involves a small catheter guided into the liver and the SIR-Spheres are infused through the catheter.  The spheres are carried through the bloodstream directly to the tumors in the liver where they preferentially lodge in the small vessels feeding the tumor and deliver their dose of radiation for a period of approx 2 seeks.  They selectively irradiate the tumors and therefore have the ability to deliver more potent doses of radiation directly to the cancer sells over a longer period of time, while sparing the nomral healthy tissue.  This treatment was developed in the late '80's in Australia and was approved by the FDA in 2002, altho for treatment of secondary liver cancer.  So getting the insurance company to cooperate to treate Cholangio could be difficult, but AETNA approved the procedure in (according to UCH) in record time.  I wanted you all to know about this treatment as a possibility for you or your loved one.  I will keep you posted on how it goes.  At this point the GEMZAR appears to have done all it can and the tumor markers are creeping back up, so we're praying that this treatment will be effective.  Check www.sirtex.com

God Bless

Re: SIR-Spheres: Selective Internal Radiation Therapy (SIRT)

Just a quick follow up:  this was a two day out-patient procedure, and the side effects are that Bob feels like he has a very very bad case of the flu.  It has been a week since the procedure and he is still very weak and is in a lot of pain.  His stomach hurts more than the rest of his body, it seems, also pain in all of the stomach area and abdomen.  However, we were told to expect the flu - like symptoms.  Hopefully he will feel better soon.

Re: SIR-Spheres: Selective Internal Radiation Therapy (SIRT)

I am interested in how he is doing now at the end of April?

Re: SIR-Spheres: Selective Internal Radiation Therapy (SIRT)

I had SIR-Spheres inserted last November.  Previous to that (in May 2001) after being diagnosed with CC, I had half the liver removed to get rid of the 10 cm mass.  In a year tumors showed up in the remaining part of the liver.  Over the years I've had many chemo clinical trials -- some worked for a while, some did not work at all, plus chryoablation which partially worked.  Last fall, running out of options, they tried SIR-Spheres.  So far (after ten months) the tumors have not gotten any larger, but are still there. 

At first I felt pretty good, but then began getting very tired, having little appetite, and stomach aches -- which I attribute to stress.  Lately, though I'm feeling better.  My next scan will be in a month.  I also attribute my aches, pains, fatigue to all the chemo and procedures over the years and too many birthdays, since I'm now 73.

SIR Spheres so far have worked well, though.  I hope other have the same success for non-operative cancer in the liver.

Jerry

Re: SIR-Spheres: Selective Internal Radiation Therapy (SIRT)

I am wondering if you had had lymph node involvement?  I was told I am not a candidate because the cancer has already spread to the lymph nodes and that I have so many small tumors that they wouldn't be able to pinpoint them without damaging what healthy liver I have left.  So will go through Gemcitabine and Tarceva for 3 months and then a repeat scan.  IF there is shrinkage from the lymph nodes I MIGHT, and they stressed MIGHT, be a candidate.

Re: SIR-Spheres: Selective Internal Radiation Therapy (SIRT)

My husband Ken had the sir-spheres treatment at Stanford.  It worked great!  Ken tolerated the procedure very well.  At his 6 week check-up, he had no tumors.  Unfortunately, at his 3 mo check-up, there were tumors in other parts of his liver and we were told that they couldn't radiate anymore.  They gave him 6 mo and he was with us for 4.  My point is, the Sir-spheres worked on the tumors that were targeted.
Please see My Husband Ken- in Remembrances.

I miss him so....
Terri