The expanding role of interventional radiology in the supportive care of the oncology patient: from diagnosis to therapy

Semin Oncol. 2005 Apr;32(2):169-73. doi: 10.1053/j.seminoncol.2004.11.018.


Interventional radiology (IR) plays an increasing role in the supportive care of the cancer patient from the placement of catheters to treating the offending tumor via image-guided methods. These methods entail the use of both local and regional means, with thermal ablative technology comprising the former and intra-arterial embolization with radioactive particles the latter. Direct placement of the radiofrequency or cryotherapy probes into tumors that are accessible using computed tomography (CT), ultrasound, or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) guidance provides reliable symptomatic relief of single or multiple tumors in liver, kidney, lung, bone, or soft tissue. Combined with systemic chemotherapy, these techniques increase patient survival. Intra-arterial delivery of radioactive particles to unresectable tumors both provides symptomatic relief and extends survival when combined with current systemic chemotherapy. These new approaches allow IR to provide crucial therapy for cancer patients.

MeSH terms

  • Catheter Ablation
  • Catheterization
  • Cryosurgery
  • Cryotherapy
  • Embolization, Therapeutic
  • Humans
  • Microwaves
  • Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Palliative Care*
  • Patient Selection
  • Radiology, Interventional*
  • Thrombolytic Therapy / methods
  • Ultrasonic Therapy