610-378-2000 610-378-2000

Minimally Invasive Treatment of Liver Cancer with Y-90 Selective Internal Radiation Therapy (SIRT)

Patients with tumors that may have either started in the liver or have spread to the liver from other parts of the body now have another minimally invasive treatment option available to them. Through Y-90 Selective Internal Radiation Therapy (SIRT) ––millions of SIR-Spheres® Y-90 resin microspheres deliver a high dose of internal radiation directly to the liver tumor(s) while sparing healthy liver tissue. The treatment requires a small incision in the groin and is administered via a very small flexible tube, called a microcatheter, into the liver in an outpatient setting during a “same day surgery” procedure.

When Y-90 SIRT Treatment is right for you

Y-90 SIRT treatments are ideal for patients that have primary liver tumors or have had a cancer in another region in their body – like colorectal or breast – which has spread to the liver. It may be considered for use alone or in conjunction with other treatments for the liver tumors, including surgery, chemotherapy, microwave ablation, and chemoablation The multidisciplinary team of physicians will review the treatment options which may be best for you.

Expertise in Targeted Treatments

Identifying appropriate patients for this procedure and being able integrate this treatment at the appropriate time with other therapies takes experience and skill. That’s why it comes down to selecting a radiation oncologist who is well-versed with this technique and process and will work with you and your other physicians to recommend the best treatment options for you as part of an integrated, comprehensive cancer care team. Penn State Health St. Joseph Cancer Center’s Dr. Navesh Sharma is internationally recognized as an expert in Y-90 SIRT therapy. He has implemented a wide array of the latest radiation treatment options to treat patients with common and rare forms of cancer, improving tumor targeting, and minimizing treatment side effects.

He has been recognized nationally and internationally as a clinical trial principal investigator and for his contributions to the American College of Radiation Oncology, American Society of Clinical Oncology, Alliance for Clinical Trials in Oncology, and National Institutes of Health Rectal/Anal Task Force. Dr. Sharma was previously on staff at the University of Maryland, a National Cancer Institute designed Cancer Center, where he performed more than 500 Y-90 SIRT procedures. He recently had an article published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology comparing the effectiveness of Y-90 SIRT therapies.

 Download and read the entire article

One Patient’s Story


Thomas Souders of Fleetwood treasures every moment he gets with his beloved, 18-month-old granddaughter, Regan Lynn.

Without the team of health care providers at Penn State Health St. Joseph that has been treating him for cancer since 2013, Souders fears he would have never had the opportunity to know her.

“I don’t think anybody expected me to be around for this long, but thank God I am,” Souders said. “Being with my granddaughter is just awesome. It’s a really good thing.” … [read more]


Questions? Ask Dr. Sharma!

Navesh K. Sharma, DO, PhD, FACRO is a board-certified radiation oncologist at Penn State Health St. Joseph Cancer Center. He is internationally recognized as an expert in liver-directed radiation therapy, Y-90 SIRT. Click here for more information or call 610-898-SIRT (7478). Click here to ask Dr. Sharma a question.

Taking the Next Step

Patients may self-refer to Penn State Health St. Joseph Cancer Center or be referred by their physician.

  1. Call 610-898-SIRT to schedule a consultation appointment. The office staff will gather your records and expedite your appointment so that you will meet Dr. Sharma within 5 business days of your call.
  2. During your consultation appointment, you will meet with Radiation Oncologist Dr. Navesh Sharma and Interventional Radiologist Dr. Kartik Shah The physician team will review your medical history and consider care plan options , which might include theY-90 SIRT procedure, and/or other therapies for your particular case.
  3. If you are possibly a candidate for additional treatment, the team will coordinate all of your subsequent outpatient appointments. These procedures will include CT scans, a vessel mapping, where the interventional radiologist maps the blood supply to and from the liver, as well as a nuclear medicine studies. If you will benefit from the Y-90 SIRT treatment, the team will schedule your outpatient procedure and coordinate all involved physicians and departments.

The Power of a Team

Our treatments are team-based in that you’ll have a multi-disciplinary group caring for you.
That team consists of:

Interventional Radiology Staff:

Danielle Sydlosky, Interventional Technologist
Beth Buonora, RN
Fred Paul, RTR
Denise Readinger, RN

Nuclear Medicine Technologists:

Brenda Steinmetz, CNMT
Christine Rapp, CNMT
Jayme Snavely, CNMT

Medical Physics /Radiation Safety Staff:

Tamara DeVries, MS, DABR
Karen Wagner, MSHP, DABR

Insurance Coverage

Insurance coverage for the Y-90 SIRT procedure is evaluated on an individual basis. In general, the procedure is covered for specific kinds of tumors by the majority of insurance companies, including Medicare. Our oncologists are affiliated with the Penn State Cancer Institute.

The professional services will be provided and billed by Penn State Hershey Medical Group for the radiation oncologist fees and by J.M. Winston Radiology Associates for the interventional radiologist fees, while St. Joseph Medical Center will provide and bill for all technical services. If your insurance requires a referral(s) for office visits with a specialist, our office staff will coordinate with your family doctor to obtain the necessary referrals prior to your appointment. We will need to copy your insurance cards and collect all applicable co-pays for the oncologist(s).

Click this link to see the insurance plans with which Penn State Health St. Joseph participates.

Click this link to see the insurance plans with which Penn State Hershey Medical Center participates.