The combination of radiation therapy and vascular embolization is known asradioembolization. Ionizing radiation in itself has a harmful effect on cancer cells. But the combination of radioactive irradiation and the overlap of the lumen of the tumor vessel increases the anti-cancer effect of treatment.
Essence and purpose of the method
This technology consists in the location of radioactive particles in a blood vessel that feeds a malignant neoplasm. Embolus causes blockage of the artery and deprives the tumor of nutrients and oxygen.
Radioembolization of cancerIt is used for the therapy of primary oncological lesions and metastatic foci of the liver. This treatment, in the first place, is aimed at providing palliative care. The technique allows to stop malignant growth and reduce pain attacks.
How is radioembolization performed?
Radical intervention of this kind is carried out in a radiological hospital. The patient is under local anesthesia. In the artery of the stomach and duodenal gut, a special mesh is installed that prevents the spread of embolus.
Before the manipulation of the patient, a detailed angiography of the hepatic vessels is carried out. During the operation, the surgeon inserts radioactive particles into the malignant neoplasm using a catheter inserted through the femoral artery.
Advantages of radioembolization of cancer
Undoubted advantages of this method can be considered:
- Significant improvement in the quality of life of a seriously ill patient, which is contraindicated in traditional surgery or liver transplantation. In many cases, thanks to the radio-embolic method, the oncobolus manages to prolong the life span.
- If we compare this treatment with remote radiation therapy, the total irradiation of the organism is lower by an order of magnitude with radioemboli.
- The introduction of embolus into the area of oncological growth does not require a cut of the skin and, accordingly, the application of sutures.
- This method makes it possible to subject mutated tissues to a high dose of ionizing radiation.
Contraindications to radioembolism
This measure is contraindicated for patients with acute or chronic form of renal and hepatic insufficiency. Also, intolerance to embolism is observed in persons with pathology of the biliary tract and blood coagulation system.
It should be noted that in some cases, doctors allow such interference if there are contraindications. Only for such patients the oncologist uses several courses of therapy with reduced doses of radiation.
In cancer practice, the following risks exist for this therapy:
- Infectious lesion of the injection site and puncture of the femoral artery. This complication is common, as it is typical for all types of surgical interventions. Prevention of infection is the use of antibiotics in the post-operation period.
- Allergic reactions to the composition of contrast medium, which is used for angiography.
- The advancement of the catheter along the vascular network can be accompanied by mechanical damage to its walls.
Disadvantages of radioembolization of cancer
The obvious disadvantages of this cancer treatment include:
- The high cost of the procedure and a limited number of cancer centers in which radiological embolism can be performed.
- The complexity of manipulation, which requires the presence of complex equipment and strict radiological control. Also, it should be noted that the success of the operation directly depends on the qualification of the oncologist.
- Some customs difficulties with transporting a radioactive isotope used as an embolus.
The cost of radioembolization
For the first time such an intervention was conducted about ten years ago in the United States. And only in recent years, this therapy has entered the official list of anti-cancer procedures.
In advanced clinics in Europe, the cost of a basic course of radiological embolization, without hospitalization and medical costs, may be 2, 00 euros. In the case of extensive liver damage, when about 60% of the body is involved in the malignant process, the cost of manipulation increases to 7, 00 euros, which is due to the need for several additional sessions chemotherapy..