Interventional Oncology (IO) refers to a subspecialty field of Interventional Radiology. IO relies on targeted, minimally invasive techniques to treat cancer.
IO therapies can be used to shrink tumors, making other treatments possible. In some cases, IO can be used in conjunction with traditional therapies to improve therapeutic outcomes.
IO implements advanced imaging technologies to guide targeted treatments while minimizing pain, side effects, and recovery time. Interventional radiologists work collaboratively with surgeons and oncologists to develop a comprehensive treatment plan for each patient.
Thanks to continued advancements, there are more interventional opportunities for IO treatments than ever before. These include:
1. Kidney Cancer – renal cell carcinoma
2. Liver Cancer – primary liver tumors, hepatocellular carcinoma and liver metastases
3. Lung Cancer – metastases or inoperable primary lung cancer
Common procedures include:
Thermal Tumor Ablation
During thermal ablation, thermal energy is directly applied to the tumor to destroy cancer cells.
During chemoembolization, a high dose of cancer-killing medication (chemotherapy) is delivered directly to the artery supplying blood to your liver tumor. The artery is then blocked (embolized) to cut blood flow to the tumor. This embolization traps the chemotherapy drug in the tumor. Chemoembolization allows for a high dose of chemotherapy drug to be used, because less of the drug spills into the tumors’ surroundings. This procedure can support tumor shrinkage, without the systemic effects of traditional chemotherapy.
Radioembolization combines embolization with radiation therapy. During this minimally-invasive procedure tiny glass or resin beads filled with the radioactive isotope yttrium Y-90 are placed inside the blood vessels that feed a tumor. There they give off small amounts of radiation to the tumor site for several days. Because of the nature of the procedure, healthy liver tissues sustain minimal damage.