Interventional cancer treatment includes the introduction of needles or catheters into the body through tiny incisions. They are then guided by an imaging technique called fluoroscopy to the cancer tumor, allowing the radiologist to deliver cancer treatment directly to the tumor. This type of therapy deposits chemotherapy drugs directly to the tumor, sparing healthy tissue, thus allowing physicians to use higher doses.
Physicians usually insert a catheter at a point in the groin to access the femoral artery, they may sometimes use an arm artery. While monitoring the location of the catheter using fluoroscopy, the catheter is steered through the arterial system to the tumor.
The following types of cancers therapy are administered using interventional techniques:
- Chemotherapy - Chemotherapy drugs are injected through a catheter that is placed directly into an artery that supplies a cancer tumor. Chemoembolization is used mostly for aggressive liver cancer. Learn more about Chemotherapy.
- Radiofrequency (RFA) Tumor Ablation - Delivers heat, cold, radiofrequency energy or alcohol to kill cancer cells. Ablation of cancer cells is commonly performed with either catheters or needles to treat liver, kidney and adrenal gland cancer. Learn more about Tumor Ablation at RadiologyInfo.org
- Transcatheter Arterial Chemoembolization (TACE) -Transcatheter Arterial Chemoembolization (TACE) is a therapeutic procedure in the treatment of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). HCC is the most common malignant tumor of the liver. Chemoembolization deprives the tumor of its major nutrient source by interrupting the arterial supply which causes the tumor to become necrotic. Learn more about TACE at Radiographics.org.
- CyberKnife® - CyberKnife® delivers radiation therapy in the outpatient environment with sub-millimeter accuracy to cancerous and non-cancerous tumors. This highly specialized technology enables the tumor to be tracked and radiation to be delivered accurately despite patient movement which naturally occurs with breathing, and internal organ activity. It is a painless, non surgical, and an effective therapy for many tumors anywhere in the body. Learn more about CyberKnife®