Miami Cancer Institute is a worldwide leader in treating cancer using interventional oncology. Interventional oncology is a newer cancer care specialty that is transforming the way we treat cancer. We offer the most advanced interventional oncology procedures available and our interventional oncology specialists are an essential part of your cancer care team alongside medical, surgical and radiation oncology.
Interventional oncology uses advanced imaging technology to diagnose and treat cancer through targeted, minimally invasive procedures. These treatments are often faster, safer and less painful alternatives to more invasive surgical options. After your procedure, you typically go home the same day or spend one night in the hospital. Interventional oncology treatments have been proven to kill tumors, slow disease progression, improve quality of life and increase survival.
As international leaders in interventional oncology, Miami Cancer Institute doctors are pioneers in researching and developing new cancer treatments. We offer advanced clinical trials as a part of the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Alliance. Our doctors also lead an annual conference to educate and train interventional oncologists from around the world.
Who can benefit from interventional oncology treatment?
Interventional oncology may be helpful at any phase of your cancer care. Your care team may suggest an interventional procedure to:
- Diagnose or stage your cancer
- Target and destroy tumors
- Complement other cancer treatments
- Help treat side effects
Depending on the type and location of your cancer, your care team may decide interventional oncology treatment is your first and best treatment option. You also may be a candidate if you:
- Are not responding well to chemotherapy or radiation.
- Have severe side effects of chemotherapy.
- Can’t receive more radiation due to previous cancer treatment.
- Are too sick for surgery.
- Need relief from cancer pain.
- Can’t receive a liver transplant.
What cancer conditions are treated with interventional oncology?
Conditions that may benefit from interventional oncology include:
- Benign blood disorders
- Bone cancer
- Colorectal cancer
- Esophageal cancer
- Gallbladder and bile duct cancer
- Kidney cancer
- Liver cancer
- Lung cancer
- Pancreatic cancer
- Spine tumors
What interventional procedures and treatments are available?
Interventional oncology procedures use needles or catheters (thin tubes) and advanced imaging technology to help deliver these treatments with precision.
Interventional oncology procedures and treatments at Miami Cancer Institute can include:
- Image-guided needle biopsies – Doctors remove a sample of your tissue to diagnose and stage your cancer more accurately.
- Central venous access catheter placement – A thin tube is inserted in your vein to help deliver cancer drugs, blood transfusions or IV fluids.
- Feeding tube placement – A device is inserted into your stomach to supply your body with nutrition when you have trouble eating.
- Cryoablation (also called cryotherapy or cryosurgery) – A needle is inserted by the tumor, and extremely cold temperatures are used to freeze the tumor and destroy cancer cells. It is used in tumors of the kidney, prostate, lung, liver, bone and soft tissue. This procedure can also help with tumor-related pain.
- Embolization – A thin tube is used to block the blood flow to a tumor, which causes the tumor to shrink. This procedure is also used during surgery to remove a tumor.
- Radioembolization (Yttrium-90 radioembolization) – During this procedure, interventional oncologists with radiation oncologists deliver high doses of radiation directly to liver tumors. Doctors insert a thin tube through an artery in the groin and guide it to the liver. Radioactive beads are injected through the catheter and into the tumor to cut off blood supply to the tumor and help target the tumor during radiation therapy. This process kills the tumor cells while sparing the surrounding healthy liver. Miami Cancer Institute is one of only a few facilities nationwide that has used robotic systems for radioembolization in the treatment of liver cancer.
- Radiofrequency ablation or microwave ablation – This procedure uses imaging technology and needle-like probes to deliver heat directly to the tumor. The probe uses radiofrequency or microwave energy to quickly and effectively destroy the cancer cells. This is used to treat tumors of the lung, liver, kidney, bone and other organs.
- Irreversible electroporation (IRE) therapy – This procedure, also called the NanoKnife, uses a CT scan to help doctors place needles near the tumor. Once the doctors place the needles, electricity is sent through the needles to kill the tumor. The tumor shows immediate signs of shrinking and patients only spend one night in the hospital. Miami Cancer Institute is one of only a few cancer centers across the country offering this procedure, and our physicians have performed more than 700 NanoKinfe procedures to treat liver cancer or cancers that have spread to the liver. Our physicians are also pioneers in using this therapy to treat pancreatic cancer.
- Chemoembolization – Doctors use a thin tube to inject chemotherapy directly into a tumor and cut off blood supply to the tumor. This therapy has been shown to kill tumors, shrink tumors and improve survival in liver cancer patients. Chemoembolization is primarily used for patients with cancer that starts in the liver or other cancers that have spread to the liver. Miami Cancer Institute is one of only a few facilities nationwide that has used robotic systems for chemoembolization in the treatment of liver cancer.
- Portal vein embolization – Some patients may be candidates for curative liver surgery, but do not have enough normal liver to undergo surgery. This procedure causes the liver to grow and allows a greater number of patients to undergo liver surgery to remove tumor.
- Inferior vena cava filter placement – This procedure places a small filter in the large vein in the abdomen that returns blood from the lower body to the heart. This filter will reduce the risk of clots traveling to the heart. Blood clots in the leg can be a side-effect of cancer.
- Pain management treatment – Doctors use procedures, including injecting medication into the area around the spinal cord (epidural injections), injecting pain medication into the abdomen (celiac plexus neurolysis), and nerve blocks to reduce or relieve pain and improve your quality of life. We also perform minimally invasive procedures to treat compression fractures of the spine (vertebroplasty/kyphoplasty), that you may experience during or after treatment.
- Stent placement – During this procedure, a small metal tube is used to open blockages. It may be used to help treat blockages caused by bile duct, colorectal, esophageal or tracheobronchial cancers.