Interventional Oncology

Interventional oncology provides a variety of patient-centered services. We collaborate actively with our colleagues in medical, surgical and radiation oncology in tumor boards and at the Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center to develop personalized treatment plans for our patients.

Interventional Oncology is the performance of image-guided, minimally-invasive techniques by trained experts. Most procedures are either outpatient or require an overnight stay in the hospital with minimal recovery time. There are several broad categories of procedures:

Intra-arterial Therapies:

Tumors within the liver are supplied by the hepatic artery. Via this vessel we can inject either liquids/particles loaded with either chemotherapy or radioactive beads containing Yttrium-90. These treatments can be effective versus both primary tumors such as hepatocellular carcinoma and cholangiocarcinoma, as well as liver-dominant metastatic tumors including neuroendocrine tumor, colorectal cancer, breast cancer, uveal melanoma and other selected patients.

Ablative Therapies:

Ablation destroys tumors by either achieving extreme temperatures after the target tumor is punctured with one or more applicators under ultrasound or CT guidance. Ablation modalities can generate heat by delivering microwave or radiofrequency energy or cold via cryoablation. Primary and metastatic tumors of the liver, kidney and lung can be treated in appropriate candidates.

Pain Palliation:

For patients with pain from skeletal metastases, relief can often be obtained either by ablation or vertebroplasty, where stabilizing cement is injected under careful fluoroscopic guidance. In some patients, these two percutaneous interventions may be combined. Cryoablation can also be used for patients with post-thoracotomy pain.

Neoadjuvant (Pre-operative) Procedures:

For patients who may be candidates for curative liver surgery, but would have insufficient remnant liver tissue left remaining, portal vein embolization can be useful. This procedure helps grow the future liver remnant and can significantly shorten recovery from surgery.

You can find our department's 2016 publications here.


Section Chief and Members