Interventional Radiology

Interventional oncology procedure, practiced by interventional radiologist is a minimally invasive and targeted treatment option for cancer patients.

Thermal Ablation: Radiofrequency Ablation (RFA) or Microwave Ablation (MWA)

Thermal ablation is used to treat certain types of cancer by heating the cancerous cells until they die. It is most commonly used to treat cancer of the liver, lung or kidney.

Radiofrequency ablation (RFA) is a minimally invasive procedure that uses heat produced by radio waves to destroy small tumor. A probe will go through your skin into the tumour. The electrical current from the probe heats the cancer cells to high temperatures which destroys them.

Microwave ablation (MWA) uses the energy from electromagnetic waves to heat and destroy the tumor using a probe.

  1. MWA needle positioned within the tumour
  2. RFA needle within the tumour


Cryoablation is defined as cancer cells destruction using extremely cold temperatures. During cryoablation, a thin needle (cryoprobe) is inserted through skin and directly into the tumor. Liquid nitrogen or argon gas is pumped into the cryoprobe in order to freeze the tissue. Then the tissue is allowed to thaw. The freezing and thawing process is repeated several times during the same treatment session.

Trans-arterial Embolization (TAE)

During trans-arterial embolization, a catheter is put into an artery in the inner thigh through a small cut and eased up into the hepatic artery in the liver. A dye is usually injected into the bloodstream to help the doctor watch the path of the catheter. Once the catheter is in place, small particles are injected into the artery to plug it up, blocking blood supply to the tumor. The blood supply brings oxygen and nutrients that cells need to survive and grow.

Trans-arterial Chemoembolization (TACE)

Transarterial chemoembolization or TACE combines the local delivery of chemotherapy with a procedure called embolization to treat liver cancer. It works by blocking the blood supply to the tumor. Once the blood supply is blocked (embolized), chemo drug is given right into the tumor.

Selective Internal Radiation Therapy (SIRT)

Selective Internal Radiation Therapy (SIRT) is a treatment that delivers millions of tiny radioactive microspheres (SIRT beads) directly to the liver tumour. Due to the unique blood supply of the liver, SIRT beads can be delivered directly into the liver tumors, while reducing exposure to the remaining healthy tissue.

To perform SIRT, a small puncture is made into the femoral artery near the groin and a small thin tube called a catheter is guided into the liver using X-ray images. SIRT beads are then delivered through the catheter and are then carried by the bloodstream directly to the tumours in the liver where they only lodge in the small vessels feeding the tumour.