Selective Internal Radiation Therapy (SIRT)
What is SIRT?
Selective Internal Radiation Therapy (SIRT) is one of the treatment choices for people who have certain types of tumors in the liver.
What Happens During the SIRT Procedure?
Radioactive spheres (SIR spheres) are injected into an artery in the liver (pictured at right). The spheres are like very tiny radioactive seeds. After they are injected through the liver artery, they travel into smaller arteries that feed the tumor.
Once the spheres are in the tumor, they give off radiation for about three days. The radioactivity causes damage to cancer cells with little damage to the healthy liver tissue.
The radiologist performs the entire procedure through a small catheter placed within the groin artery. The catheter is guided through the vessel to the liver circulation with the help of fluoroscopy (real time X-ray). When the procedure is finished the catheter is removed and pressure is applied to the small groin puncture site.
Usually SIRT patients are able to go home the same day. Occasionally, patients need to spend a night in the hospital.
Is SIRT Right for You?
Your oncologist and the Interventional Radiology and Radiation Oncology staff will review your health history and your recent CT scans and blood work to determine whether you are a viable SIRT candidate. They will give you two screening tests - an angiogram and a perfusion scan - to further judge your candidacy.