MIAMI - A new type of Nano bead, a medical magnetic bead, offers better treatment for some liver cancers.
It's called the LUMI bead and it lets doctors see in real time if the bead is delivered to the target.
Robert Freeman had retired to Florida and was enjoying life when he got the news. He had stage four liver cancer. His doctor put him on chemotherapy right away.
"Every two weeks, I needed a blood transfusion, so it felt like this isn't working," Freeman said.
His doctor wanted to try a different type of therapy. He placed Nano beads in blood vessels to block blood flow to the tumor and starve it.
There was good news. The LUMI bead, a new type of Nano bead, had just been FDA-approved for embolization treatment.
"It gives you positive confirmation that the particles were delivered to the location where they were intended to be delivered," said Raj Narayanan, M.D., an interventional radiologist at the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center.
The beads are impregnated with iodine so they light up on scans in real time, making it easy for doctors to make adjustments during the procedure.
"If we do see there is residual blood supply that hasn't been targeted, we can go back and target it right away," Narayanan said.
It's also easier on the body than chemo. No more blood transfusions, no hair loss and no nausea. It's also offering Freeman and his wife a greater chance they'll get to enjoy life together awhile longer.
"I have a lot more hope now that they can stop this enough to give me two or three years," Freeman said.
Before the new LUMI bead, doctors would have to wait three or four weeks to figure out if the beads were in the right place based upon how the patient was responding to the treatment.
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