New Jersey Vein & Vascular Center
AMI's Specialists Serving All of New Jersey Providing Minimally Invasive Endovascular Treatment

Yttrium-90 Microsphere Radioembolization

Radioembolization also known as selective internal radiation therapy (SIRT), is a form of internal radiation therapy used to selected patients who are not candidates for surgery due to the location of their tumors or their performance (health) status.

Radioembolization is currently used by the interventional radiologist to treat primary liver cancer (HCC) and metastatic cancer (liver metastases). The most common type of cancer being treated for this is colorectal cancer, however it may also be used for breast, pancreatic, neuroendocrine tumors, and others.

The treatment involves injecting tiny microspheres with low levels of radioactive material into the arteries that supply the tumor. The radioactivity destroys the liver tumor without significantly affecting or radiating other parts of the body, thus minimizing exposure to healthy tissue. In the procedure, the radiologist inserts a catheter which deposits radioactive particles to the area of the tumor.

Microspheres target liver tumors by taking advantage of the liver's hypervascularity. For example, metastatic liver tumors greater than 3 mm receive in excess of 80% of their blood supply from the hepatic artery whereas normal liver tissue is predominantly fed by the portal vein.

The microspheres are delivered via fluoroscopy (live x-ray). Millions of 30-micron beads are infused through a catheter into the hepatic artery and become embedded in the liver. Over a period of two weeks, the therapeutic dose is delivered. The beads contain yttrium-90 (Y90). Y90 is a beta-emitting radionuclide that acts locally at the tumor site. This is the beta particles travel at most 11 mm in the liver due to their relatively low energy. This allows the beads to embed into and irradiate the tumor while healthy liver tissue is spared. Additionally, given the low distance it travels, there are minimal, if any, necessary radiation safety precautions following treatment.

Overall, the treatment is very well tolerated with minimal side effects. The most common side effect is fatigue, which lasts about 2 weeks. Schedule a consultation with one of our interventional radiologists to discuss in further detail.

Additional information can be found at the following links:

Support Groups:

YES! Beat Liver Tumors

American Cancer Society

American Liver Foundation

CanLiv: The Hepatobiliary Cancers Foundation

Chris 4 Life Colon Cancer Foundation

Colon Cancer Alliance


Fight Colorectal Cancer

Providing the Highest Quality Vascular Care Possible

Why Trust AMI's Specialists?
  • Experts in
    Endovascular Care

    Our leading doctors have over 100 years of experience and expertise in minimally invasive vascular care.

  • State-of-the-Art

    Patients can receive state-of-the-art, progressive care at one of our four offices, conveniently located in New Jersey.

  • Peripheral Vascular (ABI) Screenings

    Early detection of a vascular condition affords us the ability to catch and treat the symptoms ahead of time.

  • Comprehensive Treatments & Procedures

    As AMI's Specialists, we perform a broad range of procedures to treat all types of vascular and vein disorders.