Serious hepatic complications of selective internal radiation therapy with yttrium-90 microsphere radioembolization for unresectable liver tumors.

Asia-Pacific journal of clinical oncology

PubMedID: 25135200

Kuo JC, Tazbirkova A, Allen R, Kosmider S, Gibbs P, Yip D. Serious hepatic complications of selective internal radiation therapy with yttrium-90 microsphere radioembolization for unresectable liver tumors. Asia Pac J Clin Oncol. 2014;10(3):266-72.
AIM
Selective internal radiation therapy with yttrium-90 microsphere radioembolization has been used to treat unresectable liver tumors and its acute toxicity has been well described. Subacute and long-term hepatic complications related to radioembolization however may be underreported in the literature. This retrospective study describes the incidence and sequelae of serious hepatic complications in patients who underwent radioembolization for unresectable liver tumors.

METHODS
A retrospective review of clinical notes of patients who received radioembolization for unresectable liver tumors from 2001 to 2011 at two Australian institutions was performed to identify those who developed clinically significant hepatic complications. Relevant clinical data were obtained and analyzed to determine their incidence and sequelae.

RESULTS
A total of 205 patients were identified, of whom 10 (4.9%) developed serious hepatic complications with 7 (3.4%) attributable to radioembolization-induced liver disease. None had preexisting underlying liver disease or progressive hepatic metastases at the time of developing hepatic complication. The median time to the onset of hepatic complications was 3.5 months (range 1-67 months); six patients had a complete resolution eventually, including one patient who subsequently underwent hepatic metastasectomy safely. Three patients died as a result of fulminant hepatic failure.

CONCLUSION
Selective internal radiation therapy with radioembolization was associated with serious hepatic complications with an incidence of 4.9% and a mortality rate of 1.5% in 205 patients from two Australian institutions. The risk of serious hepatic toxicity therefore needs to be discussed when counseling patients regarding this potential treatment option.