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NCI Dictionary of Cancer Terms


radioembolization  listen  (RAY-dee-oh-EM-boh-lih-ZAY-shun)

  A type of radiation therapy used to treat liver cancer that is advanced or has come back. Tiny beads that hold the radioisotope yttrium Y 90 are injected into the hepatic artery (the main blood vessel that carries blood to the liver). The beads collect in the tumor and the yttrium Y 90 gives off radiation. This destroys the blood vessels that the tumor needs to grow and kills the cancer cells. Radioembolization is a type of selective internal radiation therapy (SIRT). Also called intra-arterial brachytherapy.