Radioembolization treats cancer by delivering radioactive particles to a tumor through the bloodstream. Upon reaching the tumor, the particles become lodged and release radiation to kill the cancer cells.
The particles are delivered to the tumor during an angiogram, where a doctor inserts a catheter into an artery in the groin and uses x-rays to guide the catheter into the vessels that supply blood to the liver. A liquid containing the radioactive particles is then injected into the artery to attach to the tumor. The radiation decays during the course of a month and leftover particles are safe to remain in the body.