Radboudumc en Terumo Europe NV work together on improving cancer treatments using holmium-166 microspheres.
Holmium-166 microspheres are currently used in the image-guided irradiation of liver tumors from the inside. This technique is also called radioembolization or selective internal radiation therapy (SIRT). Using a catheter, millions of radioactive beads, or microspheres, are injected into a patient's hepatic artery. The radioactive microsphere then lodge in blood vessels in and around the targeted tumor(s), irradiating the tumor cells at close range.
The biggest challenge with radioembolization is getting the right number of microspheres to the right places in the body to reach the correct dose to the tumor. In Radboudumc’s MITeC operating rooms, it’s possible to follow the microspheres live on the MRI during treatment. This way it’s possible to learn to control them better and to adjust the dosage on the spot to the individual patient.
The holmium-166 microspheres are supplied by Deventer-based Quirem Medical, a Terumo Europe N.V. company. Quirem Medical and Radboudumc have been collaborating on radioembolization for several years. With the new collaboration agreement, Terumo is intensifying its research collaboration with Radboudumc.
Radioembolization is now mainly used in patients with primary or secondary liver cancer, for whom surgery is no longer an option. Radioembolization helps to extend the lives of these patients. Radboudumc and Terumo Europe N.V. hope to be able to offer them more perspectives in the future with this image-guided and personalized treatment.