Michael Soulen on Radioembolization of Neuroendocrine Tumor Liver Metastases

December 10, 2015
Michael Soulen, MD

Michael Soulen, MD, a professor of radiology and surgery at the Abramson Cancer Center, University of Pennsylvania, discusses radioembolization to treat liver metastases in patients with neuroendocrine tumors (NETs) as well as the efficacy of embolization in treating NETs.

Michael Soulen, MD, a professor of radiology and surgery at the Abramson Cancer Center, University of Pennsylvania, discusses radioembolization to treat liver metastases in patients with neuroendocrine tumors (NETs) as well as the efficacy of embolization in treating NETs.

Radioembolization, which has been used since the early 2000s, injects microscopic radioactive seeds into the bloodstream. The seeds lodge themselves into the tumor and emit radiation over a couple of weeks as they decay.

Embolization is particularly effective for NETs, Soulen says, with a high response rate and only about 5% of patients reporting significant complications from the therapy.

The treatment is also effective in recurrent cases because the tumors do not become resistant, but instead grow a new blood supply that can be cut off again.