Moffitt Cancer Center Offers TheraSphere Treatment To Inoperable Primary Liver Cancer Patients

March 29, 2010

Tampa, FL – Although primary liver cancer is somewhat uncommon in the United States, every year approximately 18,160 Americans will lose their lives to this disease. Moffitt Cancer Center is fighting back to bring new hope to inoperable liver cancer patients with the treatment, TheraSphere.

TheraSphere is a therapy developed by MDS Nordion that attacks cancer cells and provides more treatment options to patients. “TheraSphere is a combination of radiation therapy and arterial embolotherapy that provides benefits of both to our patients at the same time,” said Dr. Bulent Arslan, interventional radiologist in the Department of Diagnostic Imaging.

The treatment contains millions of tiny radioactive Yttrium-90 glass beads that emit radiation and attack cancerous tumors without impacting healthy tissues. The therapy shrinks the cancer, making more patients eligible for surgery or a transplant.

“Many patients with liver tumors, who were previously told that they did not have options could benefit from this procedure,” Arslan said. “This procedure takes us one step further in the fight against cancer.”

81-year-old John Jablonski was diagnosed with primary liver cancer in 2007 and was given a life expectancy of six to 12 months. His diagnosis did not provide many treatment options but when he turned to Moffitt for his care, TheraSphere gave him a second chance at life. “TheraSphere gave me 10 more years. I feel like a young man again,” Jablonski said.

Jablonski continues his treatments at Moffitt and combines his therapy with a healthy lifestyle. “It physically makes me feel better and little by little I am regaining strength,” Jablonski said. “I live with hope.”

TheraSphere is improving patient survival rates with some common side effects including: mild to moderate fatigue, pain and nausea, loss of appetite and temporary changes in some blood tests. The treatment is minimally invasive and most patients are able to continue their daily activities within 24 hours of treatment.

This procedure is about 70 to 80 percent effective and is approved by the FDA. TheraSphere is accepted by most insurance policies and Medicaid. For more information on the treatment, call (813) 745-8425.

For more information on liver cancer, visit the National Cancer Institute.

About MDS Nordion

MDS Nordion, a business unit of MDS Inc., is a global leader in providing products and services for medical imaging and radiotherapeutics, and sterilization technologies for the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of disease. MDS Nordion’s products and services are used on a daily basis by pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, medical-device manufacturers, hospitals, clinics and research laboratories and benefit the lives of

millions of people in more than 70 countries around the world. Find out more at

About Moffitt Cancer Center

Located in Tampa, Florida, Moffitt Cancer Center  is an NCI Comprehensive Cancer Center - a designation that recognizes Moffitt’s excellence in research and contributions to clinical trials, prevention and cancer control. Moffitt currently has 15 affiliates in Florida, one in Georgia and two in Puerto Rico. Additionally, Moffitt is a member of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network, a prestigious alliance of the country’s leading cancer centers, and is listed in U.S. News & World Report as one of “America’s Best Hospitals” for cancer. Moffitt’s sole mission is to contribute to the prevention and cure of cancer.