Y-91 radioembolization has been approved by the FDA for use in the treatment of hepatocellular carcinoma, as it seems to be more effective than other treatments like chemotherapy or Y-90 radioembolization. The Alamogordo Imaging Center offers this specialized treatment with our 1.5 Tesla Signa Infinity LX Echospeed Plus, with a high-performance short-bore, a whole-body imaging system that provides incredibly detailed images and exceptional low contrast resolution to detect and treat even tiny tumors while minimizing the damage to nearby tissue and organs.
How does it work?
Y-90 is a radioactive substance that can travel through blood vessels and destroy cancer cells. In radioembolization, a small amount of Y-90 is injected into a vein in your arm or hand. It then travels to your liver, which attaches to cancer cells and destroys them by emitting gamma rays. For treating small tumors, radioembolization may be safer than surgery or other types of treatment because it does not require incisions or radiation therapy that can damage normal tissue surrounding a tumor site.
Why is it better than chemo?
Y-91 radioembolization is a minimally invasive procedure that targets cancer cells specifically, unlike chemotherapy which has been known to damage healthy cells and organs as well. A study published in Lancet Oncology states that nearly half of patients with liver metastases who received Y-91 radioembolization had complete tumor regression, whereas only 19% of patients who received chemotherapy demonstrated such an improvement.
What can be treated?
The most common location for treating patients with Y-90 radioembolization is their liver. The cancer cells are specifically targeted with Y-90 and will begin to die when they are exposed to it. These dead cancer cells are then cleared by our body’s natural systems, which will result in a decrease in tumor size. This procedure can also be used for blood vessel malformations (AVMs) and bleeding varices.
Is there any pain?
Yes. But we’re here to tell you that it’s worth it. With three locations in New Mexico, including Alamogordo and Ruidoso (in addition to our Las Cruces location), we specialize in advanced treatment options like targeted proton therapy, Radiopharmaceutical Therapy (such as Y-91 radioembolization), and intraoperative radiation therapy. To learn more about these treatments and our other services, contact us today!
How long does it take?
Most patients require two sessions of Y-91 radioembolization, spaced 3–6 weeks apart. Each session lasts approximately 90 minutes and should be performed on an outpatient basis. Most patients are given a mild sedative before treatment.
What happens afterward?
Your treatment will depend on your cancer and your overall health. Once you have been diagnosed with a brain tumor, you should be treated by an expert in neurosurgery. The neurosurgeon may recommend radiation, chemotherapy, or surgery. At our facility, we use radioembolization to treat these types of tumors as it is a non-invasive treatment that minimizes damage to surrounding normal tissue while maximizing radiation to target tumors and control bleeding in areas that cannot be reached with surgery.
What are the risks?
The procedure is not for everyone. Because FDA has not approved Y-90, there are no official guidelines or protocols on how it should be delivered. Thus, there can be side effects from these off-label uses. The most common reported side effects of Y‐90 therapy include nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.
Where do I go for more information about Radioembolization at Alamogordo Imaging Center?
One of our board-certified Radiologists is happy to answer your questions and discuss more Y-91 radioembolization. Please call (999) 982 0222. Our office hours are Monday – Friday, 7:00 AM to 5:00 PM.