Interventional Oncology

Interventional oncology is a part of comprehensive treatment for cancer and cancer-related disorders. Procedures often complement standard cancer treatments such as surgery, chemotherapy and radiation, helping to reduce pain and extend life. Interventional oncology procedures can even cure certain types of tumors. Some tumors can’t be treated through traditional methods but do respond to interventional treatment. 

Interventional oncology procedures are minimally invasive and most often done on an outpatient basis, allowing patients to have a shorter recovery at home. By pinpointing treatment to the tumor, they limit chemotherapy or radiation exposure, causing fewer side effects than traditional treatments. A CT scan, MRI or ultrasound may be needed prior to treatment to help determine the right procedure and dose. Our interventional radiologist will consult with the patient and provider to discuss the procedure.

Our interventional oncology procedures include:


Ablation targets a soft tissue tumor and burns it with heat or freezes it with cold, killing the cancerous cells. Ablation is done with a small needle that is inserted through a catheter under image guidance and emits heat or cold directly to the tumor, preserving the normal, surrounding tissue. There are several ablation methods – radiofrequency ablation, microwave ablation, or cryroablation. 
Typically, tumors up to three to five centimeters in size can be ablated. This treatment can be used to treat tumors in the liver, lung, bones, kidneys, and other soft tissues and can help bridge patients who are eligible for a transplant. Ablation is a curative treatment for kidney cancer and can be used in conjunction with treatments like chemotherapy or Y-90 for other cancers.


TACE stands for transarterial chemoembolization. It’s a highly-localized treatment used mostly to treat multiple or large liver tumors. TACE delivers chemotherapy directly to the tumor, while also cutting off the blood supply to the tumor. This treats the tumors while reducing the side effects of chemotherapy. This helps extends a patient’s life and can serve as a bridge treatment for patients who are eligible for a transplant. It is used to treat both primary and metastatic liver tumors and for palliative care. 

Y-90 Radioembolization

Trans Arterial Radio Embolization Therapy (TARE) administers radioactive spheres containing the element Yttrium 90 (Y-90) directly to liver tumors via a catheter. This therapy targets the tumor while sparing the patient many side effects of traditional chemotherapy given to the whole body. These treatments are effective both for primary liver tumors and for palliative care.

At CMC, our interventional oncologists work together with medical oncologists, technologists and nurses, on cancer tumor boards to review each patient’s case and develop treatment plans according to National Cancer Coalition (NCC) guidelines. 

Long Term Venous Access

Some patients may require a catheter placed under the skin to make it easier to administer chemotherapy drugs, draw blood, or drain fluids. 

Radiologists can place a peripherally inserted central catheter (PICC) or port for long term vascular access, benefitting patients who need a prolonged course of medication therapy, other forms of IV infusion, or intravenous nutrition.

A drainage catheter may be needed for patients with fluid buildup around the lung or in the abdomen.  This device can be a more comfortable alternative to repeat blood draws and fluid drainages.

Pain Relief & Palliative Care

Interventional oncology can provide pain relief for patients with primary or metastatic tumors through ablation (see above) or kyphoplasty, a process of injecting stabilizing cement around the tumor. In some patients, these two treatments may be combined.

Interventional oncology can also support a patient’s palliative care plan. Placement of an indwelling catheter or Denver™ shunt allows patients and their caregivers to manage fluid drainage at home, providing greater comfort and avoiding repeat and often painful hospital visits. 

Radiology Nursing Support

CMC’s radiology nurses support all interventional oncology procedures, offering patients compassionate care and clinical excellence. Our radiology nurses all have critical care experience and work in close conjunction with physicians to ensure quality outcomes and patient safety at all times. 

Meet Our

Radiology Team

Our certified board-certified radiologists, technologists, registered nurses and experienced support staff provide advanced care with compassion and professionalism. 

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