Treatment of unresectable hepatocellular carcinoma with use of 90Y microspheres (therasphere): Safety, tumor response, and survival

Riad Salem*, Robert J. Lewandowski, Bassel Atassi, Stuart C. Gordon, Vanessa L. Gates, Omar Barakat, Ziad Sergie, Ching Yee O. Wong, Kenneth G. Thurston

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

336 Scopus citations


PURPOSE: To present safety and efficacy results obtained in treatment of a cohort of patients with unresectable hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) with use of Y microspheres (TheraSphere). PATIENTS AND METHODS: Forty-three consecutive patients with HCC were treated with Y microspheres over a 4-year period. Patients were treated by liver segment or lobe on one or more occasions based on tumor distribution, liver function, and vascular flow dynamics. Patients were followed for adverse events, objective tumor response, and survival. Patients were stratified into three risk groups according to method of treatment and risk stratification (group 0, segmental; group 1, lobar low-risk; group 2, lobar high-risk) and Okuda and Child-Pugh scoring systems. RESULTS: Based on follow-up data from 43 treated patients, 20 patients (47%) had an objective tumor response based on percent reduction in tumor size and 34 patients (79%) had a tumor response when percent reduction and/or tumor necrosis were used as a composite measure of tumor response. There was no statistical difference among the three risk groups with respect to tumor response. Survival times from date of diagnosis were different among the risk groups (P < .0001). Median survival times were 46.5 months, 16.9 months, and 11.1 months for groups 0, 1, and 2, respectively. Median survival times of 24.4 months and 12.5 months by Okuda scores of I and II, respectively, were achieved (mean, 25.8 months vs 13.1). Patients had median survival times of 20.5 months and 13.8 months according to Child class A and class B/C disease, respectively (mean, 22.7 months vs 13.6 months). Patients classified as having diffuse disease exhibited decreased survival and reduced tumor response. There were no life-threatening adverse events related to treatment. CONCLUSIONS: Use of Y microspheres (TheraSpheres) provides a safe and effective method of treatment for a broad spectrum of patients presenting with unresectable HCC. Further investigation is warranted.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1627-1639
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Vascular and Interventional Radiology
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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