Helping people fight cancer is one of the most valuable and satisfying aspects of interventional radiology (#irad). Recently, a JCO article was published which demonstrated that Y-90 radioembolization combined with systemic chemotherapy resulted in a significant delay in disease progression which resulted in a longer progression free survival, meaning patients lived longer than they otherwise would have had they not undergone the combined treatments.

How exciting.

Here is an excerpt from a Yahoo finance article on the subject:

"Lead author and the study's co-principal investigator, Prof. Guy A van Hazel of the University of Western Australia, Perth, Australia, said "In the primary endpoint of the study, patients with non-resectable liver-dominant or liver-only colorectal cancer who received FOLFOX-based first-line chemotherapy alone had a median Progression-Free Survival (PFS) at any site of 10.2 versus 10.7 months in those that received chemotherapy plus SIR-Spheres, but this difference was not statistically significant. However, the addition of SIR-Spheres Y-90 resin microspheres to chemotherapy significantly prolonged PFS in the liver, from a median of 12.6 months in the chemotherapy control arm compared to 20.5 months in the SIR-Spheres arm, which translated to a 31 percent reduction in the risk of tumour progression in the liver. Long-term disease control is critical as liver metastases eventually cause the death of the majority of the hundreds of thousands of patients who get colorectal cancer that cannot be removed by surgery."  "

Facts (excerpted from SIR-Spheres publication):

·        The majority of people with liver metastases secondary to colorectal cancer die due to liver failure due to the hepatic tumor burden

·        Chemotherapy induced parenchymal damage also significantly contributes to liver failure

·        Protecting healthy parenchyma, while effectively treating liver metastases is a key goal when treating patients with liver dominant metastases

·        SIRFLOX demonstrates that combining SIR-Spheres Y-90 resin microspheres with standard of care systemic chemotherapy resulted in:

o7.9 month improvement in median PFS in the liver

o8.7 month improvement in median PFS in the liver in liver only cohort

oNo impact on duration of systemic therapy

oIdentical results irrespective of the use of bevacizumab, baseline tumor burden and performance status

oA significantly increased ORR vs chemo alone

oA 3-fold increase in Complete Responses vs chemotherapy alone

oToxicities that were acceptable and as predicted

oGrade 5 toxicities were not statistically different between the two arms

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If you or a loved one is fighting colon cancer,  ask the oncologist about Sir-Spheres treatment. Knowledge is power. Ask your oncologist to explore what interventional radiology has to offer Make sure you aren't missing a critical option in the care paradigm currently available.