Yttrium-90 radioembolization for hepatocellular carcinoma: What we know and what we need to know

Yun Hwan Kim, Do Young Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


In spite of substantial progress in the management of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), suboptimal treatment results are frequently seen in the intermediate and advanced stages of HCC. The current staging system indicates that multinodular HCC without vascular invasion needs to be treated by transarterial chemoembolization (TACE) and HCC with vascular nvasion or distant metastasis is linked to sorafenib, an an-tiangiogenic therapy. Radioembolization with yttrium-90 (90Y) is a recently introduced liver-directed therapy employing a catheter-based approach. Growing data suggest that 90Y radioembolization has a potent anticancer effect with negligible adverse events if appropriate pretreatment evaluations including dosimetry, calculation of lung shunt fraction and assessment of vascular anatomy are performed. Retrospective and small prospective studies have shown response rates and survival after 90Y therapy which are comparable to TACE and sorafenib in the intermediate and advanced stages, respectively. Although a large sample size is necessary to compare the outcome between TACE and radioembolization in intermediate-stage HCC, selected populations, for whom TACE would not be effective, are candidates for testing the role of 90Y radioembolization. A multidisciplinary, combined approach in advanced HCC using loco-regional therapy such as radioembolization and systemic therapy including sorafenib also has to be investigated.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)34-39
Number of pages6
JournalOncology (Switzerland)
Publication statusPublished - 2013 Apr 14

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2013 S. Karger AG, Basel.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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