What is oncologic intervention?
Oncologic intervention includes radiology procedures that help treat cancers by providing treatment at or near the tumor site using highly precise, image-guided techniques. Advances in technology enable trained interventional radiologists to perform targeted, minimally-invasive treatments as well as procedures to manage pain and relieve other symptoms associated with the cancer and its treatment, helping patients achieve optimal outcomes with minimal discomfort.
What techniques are used in oncologic intervention?
Today, there are more methods than ever before to treat cancer and manage its side effects using interventional radiology. Some of the most popular and effective techniques include:
- Vascular techniques that deliver treatment specifically to tumors while also cutting off the flow of blood to tumors so tumor cells are deprived of nutrients and oxygen they need to grow and replicate. Two of the most common and effective vascular techniques include radioembolization, which delivers special beads embedded with radioactive isotopes directly to the tumor, and chemoembolization which uses a similar technique to deliver cancer-fighting drugs to the tumor, sealing off blood flow so the medication remains in place.
- Tumor ablation techniques designed to destroy tumor tissue using specific types of focused energy, including radiofrequency and microwave energy, or using freezing temperatures (cryotherapy).
- Liver-directed procedures specifically designed to target hard-to-treat liver cancers while sparing surrounding healthy tissue.
- Precise placement of ports and PICC lines to enable chemotherapeutic agents and other medications to be administered and blood samples to be drawn without the need for repeated needle sticks.
Plus, interventional radiology techniques can be used to administer pain medications right where they're needed for faster and more effective results, and they can also be used to obtain highly accurate biopsies for more precise diagnosis and disease management that can be optimized for each patient's unique needs.
Can interventional radiology be used to treat all types of cancers?
No, oncologic intervention using radiologic approaches is primarily restricted to solid tumors, like those that can occur in liver, colon, lung and breast cancers. Every year, new advances are made in interventional techniques that enable more patients to be effectively and successfully treated. Ask you oncologist if interventional radiology might be useful in your treatment, or call our office and schedule a consultation to learn more.