Baylor Radiologists offers an array of minimally invasive interventional procedures for the treatment of various cancers, including hepatocellular carcinoma (primary liver cancer), renal cell carcinoma (primary kidney cancer), and certain types cancers that have spread to the liver (i.e. neuroendocrine tumor and colon cancer). The interventional radiologists work closely with surgeons, oncologists, hepatologists, and urologists to select the best method of treatment – chemoembolization, radioembolization, or percutaneous thermal ablation.

Chemoembolization is most commonly used for the treatment of hepatocellular carcinoma. Through a small catheter, an interventional radiologist delivers a mixture of chemotherapy and microscopic embolic particles directly into the tumor via the arteries that supply the liver. This two-fold approach allows the blood flow to the tumor to be reduced while precisely delivering a chemotherapeutic agent to the tumor(s).

Radioembolization is a newer technique that is approved for the treatment of hepatocellular carcinoma and metastatic colorectal cancer. Similar to chemoembolization, small particles are delivered via a small catheter directly to the tumor(s). The small particles delivered via the catheter directly to the intended area of treatment are embedded with a powerful radioactive material called yttrium-90 (Y-90). The ionizing radiation delivered by this form of treatment has been shown to shrink or kill certain types of tumors.

Percutaneous thermal ablation is a technique that can be used to treat early stage renal cell carcinomas and hepatocellular carcinomas. A small needle probe is advanced into the targeted tumor and either extreme heat or extreme cold is generated by a machine to “burn” or “freeze” the tumor. Microwave ablation and radiofrequency ablation are two heat-generating types of thermal ablation. Cryoablation is a cold-generating type of thermal ablation.

Regardless of the type of interventional oncologic procedure being performed, our interventional radiologists will work closely with your doctor to select the most effective and safe form of treatment. Our interventional radiologists are well-versed in these types of interventional oncologic procedures and will provide the highest quality of care.

To learn more about chemoembolization, click below.