At the MemorialCare Todd Cancer Institute at Long Beach Medical Center, multi-disciplinary care and cutting-edge, personalized treatment options are at the core of helping patients manage and overcome cancer. Expert interventional radiologists specialize in the latest therapies for cancer treatment, including interventional oncology — a unique discipline within cancer care that uses imaging guidance, such as live X-ray, ultrasound and computerized tomography (CT), to visualize abnormalities, collect tissue for biopsies and conduct minimally invasive procedures.

Interventional Oncology TeamPatients with primary organ cancer, metastatic cancer or non-surgical tumors can benefit from the targeted and localized therapies available through interventional oncology. Procedures also support palliative care by relieving the symptoms or discomfort cancer can cause.

Interventional oncology encompasses various minimally invasive, localized techniques that can complement or substitute other cancer treatment methods, such as chemotherapy, radiation and surgery. Such techniques include chemoembolization and radioembolization, which are performed in conjunction with live X-ray imaging for patients with primary liver or kidney cancer.

During chemoembolization and radioembolization, an interventional radiologist uses X-ray guidance to move a catheter into the artery that supplies blood to a tumor. Whereas chemoembolization involves a targeted injection of chemotherapy into the arteries, radioembolization deposits radioactive particles into the tumor. Both procedures help block the blood supply and shrink the tumor.

Cryoablation and microwave ablation also are used to treat primary liver, kidney and lung cancer using ultrasound and CT to guide probes to the cancerous tumor. During cryoablation, cancer cells are killed by extremely cold temperatures that cause the tumor to either shrink or burst. Microwave ablation involves a similar process, however thermal energy is applied to the tumor using electromagnetic frequencies. Friction and heat are then created, effectively killing cancer cells in the tumor. 

Palliative procedures are recommended to provide pain relief and strengthening properties when cancer has spread to the bones. Using X-ray imaging, interventional radiologists perform percutaneous cementoplasty, or the injection of a special cement into the areas of the bone that have been destroyed by cancer. Cement also can be injected into bone tumors, which helps relieve cancer related pain in the bone.

“These procedures offer amazing benefits to patients with advanced cancer, or those who need help treating a specific area of the body,” says Gary Tse, M.D., board-certified interventional radiologist, Long Beach Medical Center. “Localized and targeted therapies can help improve long-term patient outcomes by controlling cancer and providing pain relief for better quality of life.”

At the MemorialCare Todd Cancer Institute, patients are provided comprehensive care using innovative, state-of-the-art treatment options, including interventional oncology. Its cancer experts are committed to creating personalized treatment plans to meet each patient’s needs – every step of the way.