Radioembolization with yttrium microspheres for neuroendocrine tumour liver metastases

Br J Surg. 2010 Apr;97(4):537-43. doi: 10.1002/bjs.6931.


Background: (90)Y microsphere radioembolization is performed by injecting the microspheres through a hepatic artery catheter placed percutaneously via the femoral or brachial artery. This study assessed the efficacy of (90)Y microsphere therapy for patients with unresectable neuroendocrine tumour liver metastases (NETLMs). Potential prognostic factors were analysed for their impact on overall survival.

Methods: A prospectively collected database for patients with NETLMs treated by (90)Y microspheres in two centres from 2003 to 2008 was examined retrospectively. Serial radiographic evidence was collected during follow-up to assess response.

Results: Fifty-eight patients were included, 51 of whom had evaluable disease at most recent follow-up. Six patients achieved a complete response, 14 a partial response, 14 had stable disease and 17 had disease progression. Overall survival rates at 1, 2 and 3 years were 86, 58 and 47 per cent respectively; median survival was 36 (range 1-61) months. Extent of tumour involvement, radiographic response to treatment, extrahepatic disease and tumour grade were significant prognostic factors for overall survival.

Conclusion: (90)Y microsphere radioembolization achieved a radiographic response in a significant proportion of patients with NETLMs.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Embolization, Therapeutic / methods*
  • Embolization, Therapeutic / mortality
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Kaplan-Meier Estimate
  • Liver Neoplasms*
  • Male
  • Microspheres
  • Middle Aged
  • Neuroendocrine Tumors / mortality
  • Neuroendocrine Tumors / radiotherapy*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Radiopharmaceuticals / therapeutic use*
  • Yttrium Radioisotopes / therapeutic use*


  • Radiopharmaceuticals
  • Yttrium Radioisotopes