USA Oncology Centers Offer Office-Based Procedure in Fight Against Cancer

USA Oncology Centers is extremely proud to announce that a patient with Hepatocellular Carcinoma (HCC) was successfully treated with Y-90 Selective Internal Radiation Therapy. This innovative image-guided treatment infuses millions of radioactive (yttrium 90 or Y90) resin microspheres via a tiny catheter that is placed precisely under direct image guidance into the liver. Once in position, the microspheres selectively target liver tumors and deliver a dose of radiation up to 40 times greater than that of conventional external radiotherapy. What is truly remarkable is that this massive dose of radiation spares the healthy liver since the microspheres carrying the radiation are delivered selectively through the artery that exclusively supplies blood to the tumors.

This highly advanced, non-surgical treatment was performed recently on a Danbury, Connecticut woman with Hepatocellular Carcinoma in the background of liver cirrhosis, which is a chronic inflammation of the liver that ultimately can lead to liver cancer. The incidence of primary liver cancer has tripled over the past few decades in the Unites States, primarily due to the rise in hepatitis C viral infection and obesity, which both can cause cirrhosis. After several discussions with the patient’s family and her physicians, the decision was made to proceed with Y-90 Selective Internal Radiation Therapy.

“This patient was an ideal candidate for Y-90 Selective Internal Radiation Therapy,” said Jeff Geschwind, MD, Director of USA Oncology Centers. “The treatment will prevent the tumors in her liver from growing thereby allowing her to remain eligible for a liver transplant.”

“These state-of-the-art procedures performed under image guidance are extremely precise in their ability to kill liver tumors and are immensely beneficial to patients suffering from liver cancer,” said Geschwind. “And these procedures are perfect for an outpatient setting. Not only do they provide hope for patients with liver cancer, but now such patients no longer need to even go to a hospital to be treated effectively.”

When a patient is diagnosed with primary liver cancer or hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), the best option for a cure is to undergo a liver transplant. Unfortunately, most patients are not eligible for such a therapy because liver cancer is frequently diagnosed at an advanced stage.
“One way to maximize the chances a patient stays on the transplant list is to treat them while the cancer is still at an early stage to prevent its growth,” said Geschwind. “This is precisely what USA Oncology Centers has performed on this patient.”
Approved by the Food and Drug Administration, Y-90 Selective Internal Radiation Therapy can be used to treat both primary and metastatic liver cancer. These microscopic, radioactive microspheres offer ground-breaking results to control and even eliminate cancers in the liver that cannot be removed with surgery.

This Y-90 Selective Internal Radiation Therapy has given the patient, Vanessa Ananias, new hope and a second chance in a year that included not only her battle with liver cancer, but also a fight with COVID-19. The 49-year-old woman has had a life filled with unexpected health problems. Growing up in Brazil, Ms. Ananias has suffered from kidney stones since her teenage years. In her early 40’s she was diagnosed with diabetes and suffered a mild heart attack. After coming to the United States in 2008, Ms. Ananias still suffered from health problems, although she worked and exercised regularly. Ultimately, kidney stones led to her incidental diagnosis of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and, in turn, primary liver cancer or HCC.

“When my mom was finally diagnosed with liver cancer, she was offered no real options,” said Matheus Ananias, who helps his Portuguese-speaking mother navigate the medical system. “Because she is in the process of applying for citizenship and has no insurance, it takes longer for my mom to receive health care. We were utterly hopeless in a world suddenly impacted by the pandemic.”

“Hope that was taken from us was restored,” her son said. “The procedure was performed the same day, and my mom felt well enough to return to work almost immediately.”

She will now be monitored closely with imaging to ensure her tumors have been effectively treated. If needed, patients can be re-treated to achieve complete tumor destruction or treat possible recurrences. The targeted nature and high level of precision of this therapy enable doctors to deliver more radiation to the liver tumors than would be possible using conventional external beam radiotherapy.

“The patient’s overall cancer care comes first at USA Oncology Centers to provide the best clinical outcomes and patient experience,” said Founder and CEO Yan Katsnelson, M.D. “Our world-class physicians offer the most advanced minimally invasive procedures that are transforming lives and making a real difference in the fight against liver cancer.”

Watch Dr. Geschwind’s video.

About USA Oncology Centers

USA Oncology Centers specializes in offering advanced innovative treatments for primary and secondary liver cancer. We provide a holistic approach to treating cancer with minimally invasive procedures that effectively target tumors, require no hospitalization, and improve patients’ quality of life. USA Oncology Centers is part of the USA Clinics Group, a national leader in outpatient care that has grown to include four specialties: USA Vein Clinics, USA Fibroid Centers, USA Vascular Centers, and USA Oncology Centers. For more information, call or visit

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