About 22,600 cases of primary liver cancer are diagnosed each year in the U.S., according to the American Cancer Society. About 1 million cases are diagnosed each year globally. The most common form of primary liver cancer is hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), which in the U.S. is commonly caused by alcohol abuse or by the hepatitis B or hepatitis C virus. HCC is the fifth most common form of cancer in the world and is increasing globally due to an increase in the incidence of hepatitis.
Treatment options for patients with primary liver cancer are limited. HCC is usually unresectable, meaning that it cannot be surgically removed. Unlike TheraSphere, many of the treatments offered for unresectable HCC require inpatient hospitalization and also produce strong side effects that can reduce a patient's quality of life.
"I'm so pleased there will now be major private insurance coverage for TheraSphere," said Suzanne Lindley, a cancer survivor and nationally known patient advocate who heads the YES organization. "Radioembolization was a crucial step in my journey. Now, so many others will be able to take advantage of this procedure."
TheraSphere is typically an outpatient procedure that does not require inpatient hospitalization. It is also well tolerated by patients, with side-effects that are normally milder than with many other treatments for unresectable HCC. Because the procedure is directed to the tumor, there is minimal injury to non-targeted tissue. After treatment, most TheraSphere patients are eligible for further therapeutic options because the procedure preserves liver vascularity.
TheraSphere is a low toxicity, liver cancer therapy that consists of millions of micro-glass beads containing radioactive yttrium-90. The product is injected by physicians into the main arter
|SOURCE MDS Nordion|
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