Interventional Radiology

Interventional Radiology

What is Interventional Radiology?

As part of a multidisciplinary team approach in the treatment of cancer and cancer related disorders, interventional oncology is the fourth arm of cancer therapies, including medical oncology, surgical oncology and radiation oncology. Using image-guided, minimally-invasive surgery in combination with the most advanced diagnostic and molecular imaging techniques, interventional radiologists specialize in both minimal and non-invasive therapies, resulting in shorter recovery times and decreased post-procedural complications which, in turn, means shorter hospital stays and more outpatient procedures.

If you would like to hear more, or would like to see one of our physicians in consultation, please contact us.


As part of a treatment team, we often work in collaboration with other clinical services and physicians, such as medical oncologists, surgical oncologists and radiation oncologists, to provide the most comprehensive care for each of our cancer patients. In a truly multidisciplinary team approach, our interventional radiologists, nurses and staff play pivotal roles in the overall care of each patient seen and treated here at City of Hope and are dedicated to helping our patients fight and overcome cancer. Learn more about the Division of Interventional Radiology.

Areas of Focus

  • Selective Internal Radiation Therapy (SIRT) for liver tumors
  • Thermal Ablation
  • Central Venous Access Devices for intravenous infusion of blood or fluids, blood sampling or delivering chemotherapy
  • IVC Filter Placement and Removal
  • Nutrition Supplementation Tubes
  • Transarterial Chemoembolization (TACE)
  • Thoracentesis of Pleural Effusions to drain fluid from the lung

Specialty Treatment Programs

  • Deep vein thrombosis
  • Focal ablation therapy
  • Intra-Arterial tumor treatment - Loco-regional therapy
  • Portal vein embolization

Other Treatments Offered

Pain Palliation

Many patients with cancer often experience chronic, debilitating pain, whether due to the main tumor itself, or from a painful metastasis involving other soft tissue organs or bone. Pain can manifest as focal bone and back pain, soft tissue pain, or as diffuse "belly" pain in patients with spread of their tumors within the abdomen. Due to the excruciating nature of their pain, many patients often require large amounts of pain medication just to remain functional. However, these medications, especially narcotics, may lead to many other problems, such as constipation, nausea, and in some situations, addiction. Certain patients may, however, qualify for specific pain reduction procedures provided by a minimally-invasive specialist.

Below are some of the procedures that we offer, both for cancer related, and other benign, sources of acute and chronic pain.

  • Celiac Neurolytic Blockade (for intractable belly pain)
  • Bone Pain Palliation (for bone metastases and other lesions)
  • Spinal Nerve Block

Pediatric Interventions

As with adults with cancer, children may also require similar interventions as the ones described in the other sections. Often these must be performed under general anesthesia due to the young age of the patients; however, similar minimally invasive procedures are available by the interventional oncologis.

Tumor Biopsy

Once a mass has been discovered, it will often require a tissue sample/biopsy in order for the pathologist to determine the diagnosis. This can be a challenging time for patients as undergoing biopsies can be difficult to bear for patients and loved ones.

Therefore, the City of Hope interventional oncology team offers minimally invasive, percutaneous or transvenous biopsies that can be conducted as outpatient procedures in the evaluation of liver, kidney, thyroid, bone, lung, and other soft tissue masses.

Depending on the type and location of the mass being tested, the doctor will either perform Fine Needle Aspiration (FNA) or a Core Needle Biopsy (CNB), which will immediately be sent to the cytopathologist or surgical pathologist for special staining and results.

Tumor Fiducials

Some patients may qualify for external beam irradiation of their tumors. However, in order to accurately target the lesion, pre-procedural "marking' of the tumor margins is necessary for the radiation oncologist to adequately plan the treatment. This pre-procedural marking is done by placement of targetable clips or coils within the tumor using imaging guidance by the interventional radiologist.


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