While medical, surgical and radiation oncology have all been accepted in the medical community as effective cancer treatments, interventional oncology has begun to pick up steam as a potential alternative treatment with fewer side effects. Surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, and other traditional cancer therapies have an array of complications and side effects, including pain and risk of death. Using imaging and a catheter-based approach to cancer treatment, interventional oncology seeks to maximize the effectiveness of the treatment without disrupting the remainder of the body.
Interventional oncology actually finds its roots in interventional radiography, which is a subspecialty of radiology that uses imaging coupled with interventional procedures to diagnose and treat diseases. One of the goals of interventional radiography is to use the least invasive method possible to treat a disease, and interventional oncology is guided by the same overarching principle.
One of the most valuable assets that interventional oncology can offer is its ability to aid in both cancer therapy and symptom palliation. Interventional oncology can be used to deliver cancer therapeutic agents directly to a tumor, and can provide the imaging necessary for precise treatment. Interventional oncology can also treat pain through neurolysis, ablation, and bone augmentation. According to Yale Medicine, interventional oncology can be used to treat liver, colorectal, lung, bone/soft tissue, kidney, and metastatic cancers.
The clear advantage to interventional oncology is its ability to treat tumors or symptoms as
effectively as traditional cancer therapies, but without the organ damage, side effects and complications of a traditional cancer treatment plan. As interventional oncology continues to gain authority in the rapidly evolving oncology space, there is potential for this minimally-invasive treatment method to become the future of fighting cancer.