Selective internal radiation therapy by yttrium-90 microspheres for hepatocellular carcinoma after renal transplantation

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We report a HBsAg-positive patient who developed hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) 7 years after cadaveric kidney transplantation. The tumor was unresectable because of coexisting cirrhosis. Selective internal radiation (SIR) therapy, a novel therapy with the technique recently perfected, was used. Yttrium-90 microspheres were given via an angiographic catheter under fluoroscopy guidance. Serum alpha-fetal protein (AFP) was normalized within 2 wk. A follow-up abdominal CT scan revealed significant necrosis of the tumor and compensatory hypertrophy of non-diseased liver. The treatment was well tolerated except for transient liver function deterioration. The patient enjoyed 15 months of symptom-free survival before she died of liver failure. Practical aspects and potential applications of SIR therapy in this group of patients are discussed.

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