If you are very sick and unable to undergo surgery, interventional radiology is the best cancer treatment option. Due to its precision and minimally invasive techniques, interventional radiology is often successful in improving quality of life and managing your symptoms independently while undergoing care.

Why Choose Us

  • Minimally invasive procedures: Our doctors use imaging to perform procedures with greater accuracy and far less negative impact on your body.
  • Team-based, research-backed approach: Our interventional radiology team works closely with surgical, medical, and radiation oncologists to determine the most effective course of treatment for you.
  • Whole-person care and support: We provide whole-person care that focuses on your mind, body, and spiritual health.

Interventional Radiology Treatments

While interventional radiologists perform most biopsies (tests to determine if a tumor is cancerous), doctors can also use imaging for highly precise, advanced cancer treatments such as:

  • Embolization: A procedure that places a particle directly into a tumor to treat it from the inside. Particles vary in type and function — some are simply plastic beads designed to stop blood flow to the tumor, while others contain chemotherapy or radiation to treat the cancer more directly.
  • Tumor ablation: A procedure that either burns or freezes a tumor from the inside. This procedure is often permanently successful in removing cancer.
Cancer Programs
Our dedicated oncology team works together to prioritize the best outcome for you and create a customized treatment plan across the spectrum of cancer types.

View Programs

Y-90 Liver Cancer Treatment

Yttrium-90 (Y-90) is a radioactive element that can be used to treat tumors that have either originated in or spread to the liver. While under sedation, a catheter will be directed in your blood vessels starting from your groin area to the carefully selected vessels in the liver. Once the precise location is confirmed, Y-90 is delivered to these specific areas of the liver to destroy cancer cells. Though it’s a treatment and not a cure, most patients benefit from Y-90 therapy. It can reduce the growth of tumors, improve symptoms, and improve survival rates for certain cancers.

You may be referred to interventional radiology (IR) for Y-90 therapy by a provider that has already identified your liver cancer. This usually happens after a group of providers discuss your case to weigh treatment options for your unique health concerns. Y-90 therapy may be just one of several options available to you.

Y-90 for Treatment

You’ll first speak with an IR provider about how the procedure works, the risks and benefits of the procedure and the radiation, and a preliminary plan for your case. At your next appointment, the IR team will perform an angiogram to map out the blood vessels that feed your tumor. A catheter will be inserted into the liver artery through a small incision in your groin. Blood vessels that aren’t feeding the tumor are embolized (or blocked) so that the Y-90 particles don’t damage healthy tissues. You’ll be under the effects of local anesthesia, which will numb the area around the incision and moderate sedation to help you feel more comfortable.

Your treatment appointment will usually be about one or two weeks after your angiogram. During this time, specialists review imaging and other test results to determine where the Y-90 can be delivered safely to the tumor and how much is needed.

The treatment procedure will largely be the same experience as the angiogram. You’ll receive local anesthesia and moderate sedation and a catheter will once again be inserted. This time, the Y-90 will be delivered through the blood vessels to the tumor. The particles lodge into the small vessels of the tumor, releasing radiation that damages the cancer cells over time.

Most patients are able to return home the same day. Over the next few days, you may experience fatigue, nausea, or pain. You may also receive instructions for isolation to prevent exposing others to radiation. Your IR provider will schedule follow-up appointments to monitor your progress, usually several months apart.

Take the Next Step

When you are diagnosed with cancer, you want treatment from an expert team you can trust. You may be referred to the Loma Linda University Cancer Center by your primary care physician or an emergency department. For more information, please call 1-800-78-CANCER (800-782-2623).