Interventional radiology offers a set of minimally invasive procedures to diagnose and treat conditions that, in the past, would require open biopsies and surgery. When used, these techniques result in shorter procedures with relatively lower risks and faster recoveries for patients.
Our interventional radiologists are pioneering the adoption of interventional techniques for the diagnosis and treatment of pediatric cancer. Working alongside our surgical oncologists, they are continuously expanding the role interventional radiology plays in our treatment plans, so children experience less risk, less pain, and a quicker recovery.
Interventional radiology uses image-guided tools to deliver diagnostic and therapeutic procedures through catheters, needles, and tiny probes - tiny instruments inserted into small incisions or natural body openings - without leaving surgical scars or even sutures in most cases. When these techniques can be used in place of open surgery, the result is typically less invasive care with equal and sometimes improved effectiveness. While the use of interventional radiology for adults with cancer is much more developed than it is for children, many of the same techniques are used.
Many diseases that were once diagnosed and treated surgically, such as solid tumors and bone tumors, can now be treated non-surgically by interventional radiologists. A number of factors go into deciding whether interventional radiology is appropriate for a patient’s condition, including the type and size of the tumor, the extent of the disease, and if it has spread elsewhere in the body. These techniques, which can be used for diagnosis or as primary treatments or palliative (comfort) care, include:
radioembolization – this is another minimally invasive targeted procedure which combines radiation treatment and embolization to treat hepatic tumors. Radioactive isotopes are directly delivered to the tumor bed which allows for effective tumor kill with reduced systemic toxicity from radiation. Liver tumors can be treated with this technique.
Our international coordinators can guide you through the process of becoming a patient and traveling to us from outside the United States.
Lisa Diller, MD, discusses the unique needs and concerns of childhood cancer survivors, including fertility issues, follow-up care, and emotional