The CiC Approach to Cancer Care

Our interventional oncology specialists focus treatment on the organ where the cancer lives. Working as part of the patient’s cancer care team, our doctors treat the tumor where it is, such as in the liver, spine, kidney, or bones. This targeted approach avoids many of the drawbacks of more systemic treatments that affect the whole body.

We offer treatments for the following conditions:

 

Cancer care comprises a variety of treatments, traditional chemotherapy, radiation therapy, but newer modalities are being developed and executed in centers like CiC all the time. Over the past few years, interventional radiology (IR) has earned a prominent role on cancer fighting medical teams.

One of the most exciting things about interventional care for cancer is that IR doctors can target the organ where the cancer lives. With image guidance, including x-ray, fluoroscopy, and ultrasound, they use special instruments to travel through the bloodstream to the liver, kidney, or bones where the tumor is. Once they have located it, they use different techniques to directly treat the tumor.

Using either thermal or chemical methods, treatment is focused on the tumor itself, with little effect on the surrounding tissues. Because of the localized effects of these procedures, they do not have many of the side effects of those treatments that need to travel throughout the body to reach their target.

These treatments are performed in CiC/CSC facilities, where patients receive continuous nursing care. It’s less intimidating than a hospital and there is no need to stay overnight, patients go home the same day.

IR is a valuable tool to augment traditional cancer treatments.

Radiofrequency Ablation (RFA) of Spinal Metastases

This procedure treats cancerous tumors that have spread (metastasized) from the original cancer site to the spine. RFA uses energy to cause the tumor to die. This procedure can greatly relieve pain and allow patients to live a more normal lifestyle while they are being treated for their primary cancer.

Transarterial Chemoembolization (TACE)

TACE is a treatment for liver tumors that are too large, too numerous, or too invasive to be removed surgically. Tiny beads containing high-dose chemotherapy are delivered into the arteries feeding the tumors. The beads cut off blood flow to the tumor while also delivering the medication directly where it is needed.

Radiofrequency Ablation (RFA)

RFA treats tumors that cannot be removed with surgery, because of their size, number, or location. Through a tiny nick in the skin, a thin needle electrode is guided into place near the tumor using image guidance, like X-rays. Once in place, it generates a highly focused heat to destroy the cancer cells. Because of the localized effects of the RFA procedure, it is free from many of the side effects of other forms of treatment. The success rate of RFA in eliminating small tumors of the liver is very high.

Central Venous Catheter (CVC) Placement

A CVC is a semi-permanent tube that is used for patients needing regular intravenous treatments. It eliminates the need for multiple IVs and needle sticks which can damage veins. It delivers medicine right into the bloodstream.

Cryoablation

Cryoablation uses extreme cold to destroy tumors. Many patients who aren’t able to have tumors surgically removed are candidates for cryoablation. This treatment is less invasive than surgery and does less harm to nearby healthy tissues.

Microwave Ablation (MWA)

MWA uses microwave energy to generate extreme heat to destroy or shrink tumors. MWA is low-risk and done without general anesthesia and no overnight hospital stay. Like CIC’s other interventional radiology procedures, it uses image guidance to treat cancerous tumors where they live. Because of the localized effects of the MWA procedure, it is free from many of the side effects of other forms of treatment.

Port Placement for Chemotherapy

Ports make regular intravenous chemotherapy treatments more comfortable for patients. A port replaces the need for multiple needle sticks. It has two parts: a reservoir, and a catheter. The medication is placed into the port. From the reservoir, the catheter delivers it into the vein.

Preoperative Embolization of Tumors

For tumors that are going to be removed by surgery, preoperative embolization can be done prior. Tumors of the liver, kidneys, or bones have a large blood supply, making them riskier to remove during surgery than other types of tumors. Interventional radiologists can cut off blood flow to these tumors (embolization), shrinking them in size and reducing the risk of blood loss and the need for transfusions during surgery.

Radioembolization of Liver Tumors (Y90) or Selective Internal Radiation Therapy (SIRT)

SIRT or Y90 is a treatment for inoperable liver tumors. Using image guidance, our interventional radiologist injects tiny radioactive beads containing Yttrium-90 into the blood vessels that feed the tumors. Once there, they begin to emit radiation. This kills the cancer. Because of the placement of the beads, healthy tissue in other areas of the liver suffers minimal damage. SIRT has fewer side effects than systemic radiation, which may expose other areas of the body. The radiation level of the spheres depletes naturally over the course of a month, so that any leftover particles can safely remain in place and do not need to be removed.

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