Cancer Intervention

Interventional Oncology is a specialized field of interventional radiology that centers on the diagnosis and treatment of certain cancers.  By using minimally invasive procedures along with guidance from radiology equipment, the radiologists can pinpoint the location for the procedure and treat cancer with very little downtime for the patient.   Interventional oncology treats many types of cancer with a variety of procedures including radiofrequency ablation, microwave ablation, cryoablation, radioembolization, and chemoembolization.  Our interventional radiologists are part of your cancer treatment team. They work together with your oncologist, surgeon and/or radiation oncologist to provide treatments that are tailored to specific types of cancers. 

Radiofrequency ablation uses high-frequency currents to produce heat.  Likewise, microwave ablation uses microwaves to produce heat. Because heat can kill cancer cells, both procedures may be used to treat various cancers. The interventional radiologist will guide a needle to the location of a tumor and uses a very small amount of heat at the very tip of the needle to kill cancer cells.  Our interventional radiologists use this procedure to treat bone, lung, and liver cancer.

Microwave ablation and radiofrequency ablation are normally performed on an outpatient basis.  Occasionally an overnight stay in the hospital might be warranted. 

This treatment can be used in conjunction with other cancer treatments including surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy.

Cryoablation is a minimally invasive procedure that uses extreme cold to kill cancer cells in the bone, kidneys, and liver. Cells cannot withstand extreme temperatures and will subsequently die when placed in contact with extreme heat or cold.  During the procedure, the interventional radiologist will direct a small probe to the diseased tissue, he/she will connect the probe to the cancer to freeze the cells. The process may take one to three hours to complete depending upon the specific type of cancer you have.

Cryoablation is generally performed as an outpatient procedure so normally no overnight stay in the hospital is required. 

Radioembolization uses a combination of radiation therapy and embolization to treat tumors in the liver.  This minimally invasive procedure has a two-prong approach: it delivers radiation directly to the cancer and it also embolizes or stops the blood flow to a tumor(s).  It is a palliative treatment meaning that it does not provide a cure, but it can slow down the growth of the cancer and helps reduce the symptoms of the disease.

Like all interventional radiology procedures, the procedure is minimally invasive.  The interventional radiologist will guide tiny beads, or microspheres, to the cancer using radiology equipment to pinpoint the location.  The beads are filled with a radioactive isotope called yttrium Y-90. When the beads are placed at the tumor site, they stop the blood flow to the tumor and deliver radiation directly to the cancer.  

Normally Y-90 is performed on an outpatient basis, but there are occasions that a patient may require hospitalization after the procedure. 

Chemoembolization uses a combination of chemotherapy and embolization to treat cancer.  This procedure is minimally invasive and uses a combination of two powerful tools to kill cancer cells in the liver.  It can be used as the sole treatment or in combination with other treatments such as surgery, chemotherapy, ablation or radiation therapy.  

During this minimally invasive procedure, the interventional radiologist will use radiology equipment to direct anti-cancer drugs and embolic substances to the cancer.  Both items will be injected into the blood vessel feeding the tumor. This process traps the chemotherapy drug into the cancer and cuts off the blood flow to the tumor at the same time.  

For more information about this and any other Premier Interventional Radiology procedures, please call (662) 620-7111.