Radioembolization in the treatment of unresectable liver tumors: Experience across a range of primary cancers

Douglas Coldwell*, Bruno Sangro, Riad Salem, Harpreet Wasan, Andrew Kennedy

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


Radioembolization is a proven treatment to slow disease progression and improve survival in patients with colorectal cancer liver metastases and hepatocellular carcinoma. Accumulating evidence supports its use in metastases from neuroendocrine tumors and breast cancer. Cancers with radiobiologic profiles similar to those of colorectal and breast cancer, including melanoma, lung cancer, and nodular cholangiocarcinoma, are being studied as candidates for radioembolization. This treatment modality has also been shown to downsize hepatic tumors for potentially curative ablation in patients with breast, pancreatic, and colorectal cancer. Radioembolization using either yttrium-90 ( 90Y)-labeled resin or glass microspheres represents a promising therapy for liver-only or liver-predominant tumors in patients with 1 or more variables, including adequate or sufficient functional liver reserve, good performance status, and absence of other significant comorbidities. Therapeutic efficacy and safety can be best achieved by use of careful dosimetric techniques and treatment planning. Radioembolization could be considered after progression of liver metastases during treatment hiatus, at an early therapeutic line in tumors that respond poorly to chemotherapy, or in treatment-refractory disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)167-177
Number of pages11
JournalAmerican Journal of Clinical Oncology: Cancer Clinical Trials
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2012


  • Breast
  • Cholangiocarcinoma
  • Melanoma
  • SIR.T.
  • Yttrium-90

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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