Radiology

What is Interventional Oncology?

Image: Specialized filter to protect against migration of blood clots.

 Photo: Dr. Allison Aguado

I am an interventional radiologist, a doctor who specializes in image-guided therapies. Using x-rays, CT scans, or ultrasound, I am able to perform procedures inside the body through very small holes in the skin – thanks to the miracles of modern medical imaging technology.

 Image: Catheter through the arteries, towards the tumor

 Image: Using specialized needle to destroy tumor in lungs

For example, certain tumors can be treated by steering a catheter through the arteries until it is very close to the tumor and then injecting particles that cut off the blood supply or deliver radiation to the tumor.

Another method used to treat tumors is thermal ablation. This involves using imaging to guide special needles into tumors and then destroying them by either heating or freezing. I can treat liver, kidney, lung, and bone cancers with these procedures.

Image: Filter in large vein

I also do many procedures through the veins, such as placement of venous access devices, as well as the placement of filters in the large vein in the abdomen (inferior vena cava) to protect against the potentially dangerous migration of blood clots. When organs such as kidneys or livers become obstructed, we have techniques to relieve the blockages using specially placed catheters and stents.

My research interests are focused on evaluating the safety and effectiveness of interventional radiology therapies in children with cancer. I am a board-certified radiologist with subspecialty certification (CAQ) in vascular and interventional radiology from the American Board of Radiology.

Contributed by Dr. Allison Aguado and edited by Tim O’Connor.

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