Guangzhou Royal Lee Cancer Center Launches First Yttrium-90 Radioembolization Therapy for Liver Malignant Tumors

We are pleased to announce that our hospital has recently obtained approval for Yttrium-90 microsphere therapy for radiological diagnosis and treatment. This marks the establishment and operationalization of the Yttrium-90 intervention treatment center within the Nuclear Medicine Department, following national regulations on radiation safety and radiological diagnosis and treatment.

This signifies that liver cancer patients, including those with primary or metastatic liver malignant tumors, especially those in the middle to late stages, and other unresectable liver tumors, can undergo advanced Yttrium-90 microsphere selective internal radiation therapy at our hospital. This treatment aims to bring hope and opportunities for curative treatment to more patients with middle to late-stage liver cancer, enabling them to achieve clinical cure and return to normal life.
Liver malignant tumors are one of the leading causes of cancer-related deaths in China. Yttrium-90 microsphere selective internal radiation therapy, as a promising local minimally invasive treatment method, has been clinically proven for nearly 20 years, recommended by international guidelines such as the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) for local treatment of liver malignant tumors.
01 What is Yttrium-90 Microsphere Therapy?
Yttrium-90 microsphere selective internal radiation therapy (abbreviated as 90Y-SIRT) utilizes microcatheters to inject Yttrium-90 radioactive microspheres into the hepatic artery. These microspheres travel with the blood flow to the tumor site in the liver, releasing β-rays to effectively kill tumor cells. Due to its high energy, precise radiation, and minimal damage to surrounding normal liver tissue, it precisely targets and destroys tumor tissue from within, earning it the reputation of being the "nuclear weapon" for liver cancer treatment.

02 Advantages of Yttrium-90 Microsphere Therapy
Yttrium-90 microsphere therapy, like traditional Transarterial Chemoembolization (TACE), is an intra-arterial treatment for intermediate to advanced liver cancer. Compared to traditional TACE treatment, Yttrium-90 microspheres selectively reside in tumor tissue due to the characteristics of tumor blood supply, releasing short-range radiation to damage tumor tissue while minimizing damage to normal tissues. Its advantages include:
① Significant tumor shrinkage effect, achieving downsizing treatment goals
Yttrium-90 microsphere therapy demonstrates a dual effect of powerful tumor shrinkage and enlargement of the residual liver volume. This outstanding advantage makes it an ideal choice for initial downsizing and conversion therapy for unresectable liver cancer patients. By providing patients with adjunctive "downsizing treatment," patients who do not meet the criteria for liver transplantation can be downsized to meet the Milan criteria, allowing patients who do not meet the standard indication criteria to have the opportunity for transplantation.
② Precise targeted killing of cancer tissue, with minimal damage to normal liver tissue
Yttrium-90 microsphere therapy mainly relies on the radiation effect of Yttrium-90 microspheres to cause irreversible damage to tumor cells, stroma, and endothelial cells, resulting in tumor necrosis. This approach minimizes damage to surrounding normal liver tissue, maximizes preservation of residual liver volume, and achieves a higher success rate in downsizing treatment, longer progression-free survival, fewer adverse effects on the body, and greater safety.
③ High complete lesion eradication rate, reducing microvascular invasion and post-transplant recurrence
Clinical data shows that compared to TACE treatment, Yttrium-90 can achieve a high rate of complete pathological necrosis (CPN) and effectively reduce microvascular invasion, thereby reducing the post-transplant recurrence rate in patients. Compared to other conventional treatment methods, patients with intermediate to advanced liver cancer who undergo Yttrium-90 microsphere treatment have a 5-year survival rate increased to 60%~70%.
④ Short treatment cycle, fewer adverse reactions, minimal impact on patient physical condition
Yttrium-90 microsphere therapy is characterized by precise treatment, minimal trauma, and minimal side effects. Therefore, it can be used as a first-line treatment for liver tumor patients, especially for elderly patients or those with poor performance status (PS score) in clinical practice.

03 International Development Status of Yttrium-90 Microsphere Therapy
Yttrium-90 microsphere selective internal radiation therapy was first introduced to the US market around 2000 and has been widely used clinically. Currently, it has been utilized in more than 50 countries and regions worldwide with over 120,000 cumulative treatments. Its safety and effectiveness have been fully verified and recommended by mainstream clinical guidelines in the United States, Europe, and China.
Yttrium-90 microsphere injection was approved by the National Medical Products Administration (NMPA) of China on February 9, 2022, and has been officially applied domestically.
Currently, the Nuclear Medicine Department, Minimally Invasive Treatment Center, and Hepatobiliary Surgery Department of Guangzhou Royal Lee Cancer Center have formed a multidisciplinary expert team for clinical treatment of liver malignant tumors with Yttrium-90 microspheres. The hospital has obtained relevant radiation therapy licenses, making it one of the few medical institutions in China capable of standardizing this technology.
Our Nuclear Medicine Department
The Nuclear Medicine Department consists of an experienced and highly specialized medical team. Equipped with advanced instruments including the precise GE NM/CT 860 SPECT/CT and GE IGS5DSA, the department sets up comfortable isotope therapy rooms (for thyroid cancer) and Yttrium-90 rooms. In terms of diagnosis, the department will conduct hepatic artery perfusion imaging with 99-MAA, Yttrium-90-induced radiation imaging, whole-body iodine scanning, whole-body bone imaging, renal dynamic imaging, thyroid imaging, salivary gland imaging, cardiac imaging, and other auxiliary isotope therapies to meet clinical oncology diagnostic needs. In isotope therapy, it will focus on thyroid cancer treatment with iodine-131, jointly conducting liver cancer treatment projects with the Interventional Minimally Invasive Department, as well as outpatient clinics for thyroid internal medicine, malignant intrathoracic and intra-abdominal injection of radioactive colloids, and strontium-89/radium-223 tumor bone metastasis treatment. Advanced projects such as lutetium-177-PSMA prostate cancer treatment will also be implemented soon.

△ Our hospital's advanced DSA equipment

△ Our hospital's isotope ward
Our Minimally Invasive Treatment Center
The center has a comprehensive tumor minimally invasive treatment system and is equipped with Siemens digital subtraction angiography X-ray machine (DSA), GE large-aperture 128-slice CT, GE 16-row ECT, and other equipment. Since its establishment, the department's medical team, represented by Technical Director Dr. Huang Deliang, has been characterized by advanced and precise minimally invasive treatment techniques. It has successively carried out characteristic tumor minimally invasive interventional treatments such as particle implantation, photodynamic therapy, chemical ablation, interventional regional perfusion chemotherapy, microwave ablation, interventional embolization tumor artery therapy, argon-helium knife ablation, tracheoscopic tumor ablation, nanoknife ablation,  and Yttrium-90 radiosurgery. With minimal trauma, it maximally alleviates the suffering of tumor patients, allowing patients to receive high-quality tumor minimally invasive treatment. Especially for middle to late-stage tumors, it can significantly increase the cure rate and improve the quality of life of patients, with fewer side effects and strong targeting.
a message