Interventional oncology uses image-guided technology (X-rays, CT scans, MRI), to perform minimally invasive procedures to diagnose and treat cancer. These procedures may reduce risk, pain and recovery time for some patients.
Interventional oncology procedures include:
- Y-90 or Radioembolization: a minimally invasive treatment that uses tiny radioactive beads, called microspheres, to deliver radiation directly to cancerous tumors in the liver. The beads, which measure about one-third the diameter of a human hair, are placed directly inside the tumor. Over a period of 10 to 12 days, the beads emit high dose radiation, causing the tumor to shrink while minimizing collateral damage. Y-90 is used to treat liver cancer that cannot be removed with surgery. It has the potential to shrink tumors or downstage them, so a patient would be eligible for other treatments. Radioembolization has been shown to help liver cancer patients live longer with an improved quality of life.
- Microwave ablation: a minimally invasive cancer treatment that uses microwaves to heat and destroy the tumor.
- Chemoembolization: a minimally invasive procedure that injects anti-cancer drugs directly into the blood vessel that feeds a cancerous tumor to cut off the blood supply to the tumor.