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NCI Dictionary of Cancer Terms


intra-arterial brachytherapy  listen  (IN-truh-ar-TEER-ee-ul BRAY-kee-THAYR-uh-pee)

  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. Intra-arterial brachytherapy is a type of selective internal radiation therapy (SIRT). Also called radioembolization.