, IL — Edward Hines, Jr. VA Hospital is now offering a new, less-invasive liver cancer therapy for Veterans.
The treatment is called liver tumor radioembolization and uses Boston Scientific's TheraSphere Y-90 Glass Microspheres system. It can reduce or eliminate tumor growth for Veterans with hepatocellular cancer (HCC), the most common type of liver cancer.
Formally approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in March 2021, Hines is the only VA facility in its region offering the new cancer therapy and is among only a handful of hospitals in the Chicago area.
The treatment works by injecting microscopic radioactive beads into cancer growths in the liver. Injections are customized for each patient, and they use blood flow and tumor vascularity to target affected areas. Tumors are often eliminated or reduced to a size small enough for surgical removal if clinically indicated.
The new approach can also shorten recovery time and discomfort by minimizing side effects often encountered with chemotherapy.
"This is a minimally invasive procedure using a small incision and small catheters to directly target the liver cancer," said Dr. Angelo Malamis, Section Chief of Interventional Radiology. "Traditional chemotherapy is delivered throughout the entire body and carries whole-body side effects. We are now safely targeting tumors in the liver directly, allowing Veterans to recover more quickly and with less difficulty."
Hines VA successfully completed its first procedure using the new method on April 15, 2022. A multi-specialty team of interventional radiologists and nuclear medicine physicians treated a 72-year-old Veteran diagnosed with multifocal hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), a common form of liver cancer.
The team anticipates treating 25-30 Veterans annually using the new therapy.
To learn more about VA cancer treatments, visit: www.cancer.va.gov
About Edward Hines, Jr. VA Hospital
Edward Hines, Jr. VA Hospital, located 12 miles west of downtown Chicago on a 147-acre campus, offers primary, extended and specialty care to veteran patients in the Chicago area. We are the largest VA in the state of Illinois, where more than a million veterans reside. The hospital treats more than 44,000 veterans from World War II through the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.