Using Interventional Radiology to Treat Cancer
Interventional radiology (IR) offers innovative, non-surgical treatment options to patients with a wide variety of conditions and diseases, including cancer. Using minimally-invasive techniques under imaging guidance, interventional radiologists are uniquely skilled in delivering precision-targeted therapy to malignancies in virtually any part of the body.
One of the most exciting IR developments is a technique called radioembolization. At Holy Name, interventional radiologists are using radioembolization to treat primary and metastatic liver tumors that are inoperable. Holy Name is one of a few medical centers in New Jersey and the New York metropolitan area using this novel approach.
Big Hope in Small Package
Radioembolization is an outpatient procedure that delivers radiation directly to the tumor site. Interventional radiologists use a catheter to place millions of microspheres—minute particles that emit radiation—into the blood vessels, or capillaries, feeding the tumor(s). The microspheres become trapped, cutting off of the tumor(s) blood supply and destroying malignant cells that are inaccessible by other techniques.
Why Radioembolization for Primary and Metastatic Liver Tumors?
In addition to being an excellent option for patients with inoperable primary and metastatic liver tumors, radioembolization can be used in conjunction with other treatment modalities, such as chemotherapy, and as a bridging technique prior to radiofrequency ablation, surgery or transplantation.
This highly localized technique addresses the challenges commonly associated with other cancer treatments by delivering radiation only to where it is needed. Healthy liver tissue remains relatively unaffected, and patients rarely experience fatigue, nausea or vomiting.
Radioembolization is bringing new hope for greater survival to people with primary and metastatic liver cancer. It is also enhancing the quality of life for these patients by minimizing therapy-related discomfort, recovery time and side effects.