For patients who have been told they have a mass that is difficult to biopsy. Using diagnostic imaging, an interventional radiologist can guide a biopsy needle precisely where it needs to go for the most accurate diagnosis possible. An alternative to surgical biopsy, image-guided biopsies require a smaller incision, and result in little or no scarring and a faster recovery.
Minimally invasive cancer treatment
Cancer can spread from any part of the body to the liver or the bones. Once there, cancer cells may grow for months or years before they are detected.
If surgical removal of these tumors is not possible, there are several interventional radiology options for treating them. Tumors need a blood supply in order to feed themselves and grow. Interventional radiologists use the body’s own vascular system to deliver targeted, precision therapy to these tumors. In addition to being accurate, this approach minimizes the effect of treatment on other areas of the body.
An embolization procedure effectively cuts off the blood supply feeding the tumor. Sometimes, radiation or chemotherapy is delivered directly into the tumor during the embolization procedure. These are referred to as radioembolization or chemoembolization. Radiofrequency ablation uses heat to destroy tumor cells. Cryoablation uses an extremely cold gas to “freeze” tumors to destroy them. For patients with bone cancer, we perform bone tumor ablation for pain palliation.
Since every patient is different, we will use the best procedure for your unique situation.
For patients with unresectable liver tumors (either primary or metastatic) we offer an outpatient procedure called Y-90 radioembolization (also known as transarterial radioembolization). This procedure is recommended for patients with single or multiple liver tumors that cannot be treated by surgical resection or ablation, and who may not have responded to chemotherapy.
It is performed by implanting tiny yttrium-90 microparticles into the arteries supplying the tumor. There, they become trapped in the microvasculature and release targeted radiation, effectively killing tumor cells while minimizing the effect on the surrounding healthy tissue. Patients are able to return home within 6 hours of the procedure, reported side effects are low, and the treatment—while not a cure—can improve the quality of life for patients with metastatic liver cancer.
A port placement is a vascular access procedure for patients who require ongoing blood draws, hemodialysis or medication delivery directly into the bloodstream, such as chemotherapy. This is generally more convenient for the patient, and prevents them from having to endure multiple needle sticks.
Using image guidance, an interventional radiologist identifies vein that is suitable for port placement. He or she then places a special flexible, sterile catheter into a blood vessel. The end of the catheter remains outside of the body for easy access during the administration of medication, and is usually concealed under clothing.