The selective internal radiation therapies SIR‑Spheres and TheraSphere are available on the NHS. They are possible treatments for hepatocellular carcinoma in adults if:
- they have Child–Pugh grade A liver impairment and
- the hepatocellular carcinoma is advanced and cannot be removed by surgery (unresectable) and
- conventional therapies given through an artery (transarterial) are not suitable.
If you are not eligible for SIR‑Spheres or TheraSphere but are already having it, you should be able to continue until you and your doctor decide when best to stop.
The selective internal radiation therapy QuiremSpheres is not normally available on the NHS for treating unresectable hepatocellular carcinoma in adults. Your doctor should talk with you about other treatment options. If you are already having it, you should be able to continue until you and your doctor decide when best to stop.
Is this treatment right for me?
Your healthcare professionals should give you clear information, talk with you about your options and listen carefully to your views and concerns. Your family can be involved too, if you wish. Read more about making decisions about your care.
Questions to think about
- How well does it work compared with other treatments?
- What are the risks or side effects? How likely are they?
- How will the treatment affect my day-to-day life?
- What happens if the treatment does not work?
- What happens if I do not want to have treatment? Are there other treatments available?
Information and support
The NHS website may be a good place to find out more.
These organisations can give you advice and support:
- Liver4Life, 0800 074 3494
- British Liver Trust, 0800 652 7330
- Cancer Research UK, 0808 800 4040
- Macmillan Cancer Support, 0808 808 0000
You can also get support from your local Healthwatch.
NICE is not responsible for the quality or accuracy of any information or advice provided by these organisations.
This page was last updated: 31 March 2021