What Is Interventional Oncology?
Interventional oncology, sometimes called interventional radiology, is a branch of cancer care. We use imaging scans and small tools to guide how we access tumors or blood vessels.
When Is Interventional Oncology Used?
We might use interventional oncology techniques to
- Deliver medication directly to a tumor.
- Open blocked blood vessels.
- Insert a port, a device that allows you to receive chemotherapy treatment directly to your bloodstream.
- Take tissue for a biopsy (analysis).
Benefits of Interventional Radiology
Interventional radiology uses minimally invasive techniques. Minimally invasive means we insert small tools such as needles and catheters (hollow tubes) through tiny incisions. This approach may allow for less pain and a quicker recovery than traditional open surgery.
Radiologists use imaging techniques such as ultrasound, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), or computed tomography (CT) scans to guide their movements. These techniques allow us to pinpoint and deliver treatment directly to the cancer while minimizing harm to surrounding tissue.
Types of Interventional Radiology Procedures
Depending on the cancer type and your individual needs, we may use a few different techniques, such as
- Ablation: Destroying a tumor by sending cold or heat directly to it
- Embolization: Sealing off the blood supply to a tumor so it can’t grow anymore
Collaborative Cancer Care
Our specialists come together to provide you compassionate and coordinated care. A weekly interventional oncology clinic in our cancer centers allows radiologists to work side-by-side with the oncology team.
During clinics, radiologists perform minimally invasive procedures and provide follow-up care in consultation with the team. This means you thoroughly receive treatment quickly.