December 20, 2016
Holy Family Hospital Announces Revolutionary Procedure for Patients with Liver Cancer
Holy Family is the only hospital on the North Shore of Massachusetts offering this procedure, called Y-90 Radioembolization.
Holy Family Hospital is now offering Selective Internal Radiation therapy, a state-of-the-art minimally invasive procedure which helps extend the lives of patients with inoperable liver cancer.
Through a catheter inserted in the groin area, an interventional radiologist sends tiny beads filled with the radioactive isotope yttrium Y-90 inside the blood vessels that feed the tumor. The beads, also called microspheres, block the blood supply to cancer cells, and at the same time, deliver a high dose of radiation to the tumor.
Holy Family is the only hospital on the North Shore of Massachusetts offering this procedure, called Y-90 Radioembolization. This localized and targeted radiation therapy delivers a dose of radiation up to 40 times higher than conventional external beam therapy. It takes 60 to 90 minutes, and because this type of internal radiation therapy does not affect other parts of the body – only the liver tumor itself - it helps extend the lives of patients with inoperable liver tumors, and improves their quality of life. Healthy liver tissue remains unaffected, and patients, who experience minimal side-effects, generally return home four to six hours after treatment.
The goal of treatment is to decrease the burden of the tumor on the liver, decrease the progression of the tumor, decrease the size of the tumor for potential liver resection or ablation, and to provide palliative relief from symptoms.
Patients selected to undergo Y-90 Radioembolization undergo two outpatient procedures.
“A pre-treatment mapping angiogram helps access the blood supply of the liver and embolize abnormal vessels, to minimize the possibility that the microspheres could travel to other locations,” says Interventional Radiologist Ari Sacks, MD. “The mapping angiogram also helps determine the best position for the catheter to deliver the microspheres.”
Two weeks after the mapping angiogram, the microspheres are administered. Both procedures are done on an outpatient basis, and do not involve overnight stays in the hospital.
Radioembolization is the only FDA approved microsphere for patients with inoperable metastatic colorectal liver cancer.
“Holy Family Hospital’s Cancer Management Center has always been known for outstanding care. Our partnerships with Dana-Farber Community Cancer Care and UMass Memorial Radiation Oncology, both located on our Methuen campus, have allowed us to provide state-of the-art care for our patients as well as clinical trials,” says Holy Family Hospital President Craig Jesiolowski. “Having advanced therapies such as Y-90 Radioembolization at Holy Family Hospital, provides patients in the Merrimack Valley and southern New Hampshire assurance that at Holy Family Hospital they can receive advanced cancer care close to home, because we are always working to advance and improve the care we provide.”
About Holy Family Hospital
Holy Family Hospital is a 385-bed acute-care hospital with two campuses, Holy Family Hospital - Methuen and Holy Family Hospital- Haverhill. Both full-service locations provide comprehensive inpatient, outpatient and 24/7 emergency services to the greater Merrimack Valley and southern New Hampshire. Both campuses are proud recipients of the Gold Seal of Approval from The Joint Commission and Holy Family Hospital is one of only 72 hospitals nationwide to earn Straight A’s since 2012 from independent healthcare industry watchdog The Leapfrog Group, for performance on national standards of safety, quality and efficiency. Holy Family Hospital is the first hospital in Massachusetts to earn Advanced Certification in Hip and Knee Replacement Surgery by The Joint Commission, the premier health care quality improvement and accrediting body in the nation. Holy Family Hospital is Nationally Recognized by BlueCross BlueShield of Massachusetts as a Blue Distinction Center® Plus for excellence in hip and knee replacements and as a Blue Distinction Center® for Spine Surgery. The hospital’s strengths include orthopedic care, cancer care, neurology/neurosurgery, general surgery, wound care and hyperbaric medicine, maternity care, and behavioral medicine. Holy Family Hospital is part of the Steward Health Care Systems LLC, the largest integrated community care organization in New England, which combines over 3,000 physicians, 10 hospital campuses, managed care, insurance programs, home care, an imaging operation, and a number of other post acute services, to provide the most cost effective and highest quality of integrated patient care.