Radioembolization can slow or stop tumor growth and shrink tumors by delivering radiation directly to the liver. This procedure is performed by an interventional radiologist, a specially trained radiologist who uses minimally invasive image-guided procedures to diagnose and treat diseases.
A catheter is placed into an artery in the groin and threaded up into the hepatic artery, which brings some of the blood to the liver. Very small radioactive particles are injected into the catheter. These particles lodge inside the tumor and emit radiation that damages the cancer cells.
For Seattle Cancer Care Alliance patients, radioembolization is performed at University of Washington Medical Center (UWMC), typically as an outpatient procedure. UWMC has one of the highest volumes of radioembolization procedures in the nation.