Eight patients have undergone the procedure so far at the Greenebaum Cancer Center.
TheraSphere is administered through by catheter into the hepatic artery where millions of microscopic glass beads embedded with the radioactive element yttrium-90 are released into the blood and are transported directly to the tumour.
TheraSphere treats the tumour with high doses of radiation over several days.
"We have a potentially safer and more effective treatment to offer patients with primary liver cancer." Professor David Van Echo.
Unlike external beam radiation treatments, TheraSphere's targeting greatly reduces exposure of healthy tissues to delivered radiation. Patients can return home the same day.
Surgical removal of liver cancer offers the best chance for a cure but fewer than 15% of these patients are suitable surgical candidates, either because the cancer is too far advanced upon detection or because of other medical considerations.
Chemotherapy does not offer a significant survival rate. However, TheraSphere can be used in conjunction with chemotherapy, which may be more effective than either treatment alone.
TheraSphere may also be of value as a "bridging" treatment for liver cancer patients awaiting a donor organ for liver transplantation.