Pioneering Cancer Treatment Available at Select VA Facilities
Northville, MI (Law Firm Newswire) April 8, 2021 – A veteran patient at the Dallas VA Medical Center is the first to receive a cutting-edge cancer treatment to treat his aggressive liver cancer. The treatment, Selective Internal Radiation Therapy (SIRT), targets hard-to-treat liver cancer with radiation via Yttrium-90 resin microspheres or “SIR-Spheres” inserted directly into the liver.
The patient suffers from metastatic cholangiocarcinoma, more simply known as bile duct or liver cancer, which is rare and notoriously aggressive. This form of cancer affects only 20,000 Americans per year, but rates are rising steadily. This number is triple what it was just 30 years ago.
“Selective Internal Radiation Therapy is one of the most advanced treatments available for cancer,” noted James G. Fausone, lead attorney at Legal Help for Veterans in Northville, Michigan. “The VA system has worked hard to bring this program to its patients, giving them advanced care options that are not widely available elsewhere. The Dallas VA Medical Center is one of the only facilities offering both types of SIRT in the North Texas area.”
SIRT involves the insertion of one of two types of radioactive spheres directly into the liver. When cancer originates in the liver, doctors use glass microspheres filled with Yttrium-90. When it has spread from other organs to the liver, resin microspheres coated with Y-90 are used. The goal of the treatment is the same, no matter which type of microsphere is utilized.
Traditional radiation treatments kill cancer cells in the body along with healthy tissues. However, targeted placement of microspheres in the liver focuses on cancer cells specifically, sparing surrounding tissues from major damage. Y-90 emits beta radiation, which breaks down the DNA sequence of a cell, rendering it unable to replicate. Most of the radiation is deposited into the tumor in the liver within a week after SIRT.
Patients who receive SIRT experience few side effects and often go home on the same day as treatment. Liver cancer is generally a very tough disease to beat. SIRT can cure some patients with less severe liver cancer cases and extend the lives of those with a poorer prognosis, sometimes by more than a year.
For more information on how Legal Help for Veterans gets veterans the healthcare they need, visit https://www.legalhelpforveterans.com/.