Every patient is different in how he or she reacts to a treatment and almost all treatments and drugs produce unwanted side effects. Side effects of Selective Internal Radiation Therapy (SIRT) are usually mild. You may have pain in your abdomen or nausea for 1-2 days. You also may have a raised temperature, chills or a feeling of pressure in the abdomen. These side effects are usually gone in a few days. Tiredness and appetite loss are the most common side effects and can last for up to 6 weeks.
You may be given medication for a month after treatment to reduce gastritis (stomach upset) and peptic ulceration (stomach ulcers).
As any other treatment option used to extend the survival of patients with cancer, SIRT can cause severe side effects which in rare cases can lead to death. The risk of these more serious side effects from SIRT is low.
In rare instances, a small number of microspheres may inadvertently reach other organs in the body, such as the gallbladder, stomach, intestine, lung, or pancreas. If SIR-Spheres® Y-90 resin microspheres reach these organs, they may cause inflammation and potentially ulceration which can be troublesome and difficult to treat.
These complications are rare, but if they do occur they may require additional medical treatment.
If normal liver tissue receives too high a dose of radiation, the normal liver may be severely or even fatally damaged. This is called radiation hepatitis.
If too many microspheres pass to the lungs they can cause serious damage to the tissue there (radiation pneumonitis).
You will be treated by a doctor who is specially trained to deliver SIRT and to minimise the risk of these things happening.
Everyone is unique and it is not possible to predict what side effects will occur.
It is important to discuss the potential benefits and risk of treatment with your doctor so you will have realistic expectations of your treatment.