Information for the public

This procedure can only be done as part of a research study. This is because there is not enough evidence to be sure how well it works. There are well-recognised, serious but rare safety concerns with this procedure.

Intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma is a rare type of liver cancer. It is usually not diagnosed until it is too late to use surgery to remove it (unresectable). Selective internal radiation therapy (known as SIRT) involves injecting tiny radioactive ‘beads’ into blood vessels that supply blood to the liver, where they become trapped. The beads then release high doses of radiation directly into the cancer cells. The aim is to kill the cancer cells while causing as little damage to surrounding healthy tissue as possible.

The NHS website may be a good place to find out more. NICE’s information on interventional procedures guidance has more about what a procedure is and how we assess them.

Is this procedure right for me?

If you’ve been offered this procedure, your healthcare professionals should discuss with you what is involved, and explain the research study, and tell you about the risks and benefits. They should talk with you about your options, and listen carefully to your views and concerns. Your family can be involved too, if you wish. All of this should happen before you agree (consent) to have the procedure and to be in the study. You should also be told how to find more information about the procedure. Read more about making decisions about your care.

Some questions to think about

  • What does the procedure involve?
  • What are the possible benefits? How likely am I to get them?
  • What are the risks or side effects? How likely are they?
  • What happens if the procedure doesn’t work or something goes wrong?

What happens if I don’t want the procedure? Are there other treatments available?

ISBN: 978-1-4731-3115-6

This page was last updated: 31 October 2018