Interventional oncology (IO) procedures provide minimally invasive, targeted treatments for cancer patients. IO procedures form an integral part of the multi-disciplinary team (i.e. medical oncology, surgical oncology, radiation oncology, and interventional oncology) approach in the treatment of cancer and cancer-related disorders.
Image guidance is used in combination with the most current innovations available to treat cancerous tumors, while minimizing possible injury to other body organs. Most patients having these procedures are outpatients or require a one night stay in the hospital.
- Some of these therapies are regional, as when treating cancers involving several areas of the liver with chemoembolization or radioembolization.
- Others are better classified as local, as when treating focal lesions in the kidney, liver, lung and bone with cryoablation (freezing), or microwave or radiofrequency ablation (heating).
In general, these techniques are reserved for patients whose cancer cannot be surgically removed or effectively treated with systemic chemotherapy. These procedures are also frequently used in combination with other therapies provided by other members of the cancer team.