The new European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) clinical guidelines for the treatment of metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC) were recently published in the September issue of the Annals of Oncology Journal.
These new guidelines recommend radioembolisation with Yttrium-90 resin microspheres as an efficient therapeutic to treat mCRC patients who have tried and failed chemotherapy. These new ESMO guidelines were based on promising clinical data obtained from a multi-centre randomized controlled study conducted by Professor Alain Hendlisz, in Brussels, Belgium and colleagues. In their Phase III trial, intravenous administration of yttrium-90 resin microspheres with fluorouracil infusion to treat liver-limited metastatic colorectal cancer refractory to standard chemotherapy was evaluated.
SIR-Spheres Y-90 resin microspheres are the only radioembolisation therapy recommended in the new guidelines. They are a product developed by Sirtex Medical Limited, who recently announced the beginning of a clinical study, SIRFLOX, that will evaluate SIR-Spheres Y-90 resin microspheres together with standard chemotherapy versus conventional chemotherapy alone in patients with inoperable mCRC. The results from this trial are expected to be announced during 2015.
Nigel Lange, CEO of Sirtex Medical Europe GmbH said in a PR Newswire press release, “We are very pleased that the authors of major international clinical guidelines in the treatment of mCRC have singled out radioembolisation, and particularly our unique product, SIR-Spheres Y-90 resin microspheres, as an appropriate treatment for patients with colorectal liver metastases that have failed to respond to chemotherapy. We believe the new ESMO clinical guidelines will have an immediate effect on improving patient access to SIR-Spheres Y-90 resin microspheres across Europe.”
Radioembolisation or Selective Internal Radiation Therapy (SIRT) is a procedure that combines radiation therapy with embolization, i.e., a minimally invasive treatment where blood vessels are blocked to prevent blood flow. Through the use of microspheres, they are placed inside the blood vessels that feed a tumor to block the supply of oxygen and nutrients to cancer cells. The Yttrium-90 resin microspheres carry the radioactive isotope yttrium Y-90 that is delivered to the tumor and releases high doses of radiation, specifically targeted to the tumor, allowing apoptosis of cancer cells but not of the surrounding healthy tissue.