What is chemoembolization?
Chemoembolization is a minimally invasive procedure that places chemotherapy (anti-cancer drugs) and synthetic materials called embolic agents into a blood vessel that is feeding the cancerous tumor to cut off the tumors blood supply and trap chemotherapy within. This procedure is most commonly used with liver cancer but may also be used if cancer has spread to other body parts.
What is radioembolization?
Radioembolization is a minimally invasive procedure similar to chemoembolization where tiny glass or resin beads filled with the radioactive isotope yttrium, Y-90, are placed inside the blood vessel feeding a tumor. This prevents blood supply to the cancer cells and delivers a high dose of radiation to kill cancer cells and shrink tumors. Radioembolization is used to treat liver cancer in patients who are not candidates for other treatment options. It is a palliative treatment, which means it extends and improves the quality of life but does not provide a cure.
What is fiducial marker placement?
Fiducial marker placement is an image guided procedure that places small metal objects (called fiducial markers) in or near a tumor, which help guide radiation beams to the tumor during radiation therapy. Fiducial markers can be placed within the soft tissue of the chest, abdomen, pelvis, head, and neck.
What is radiofrequency ablation and microwave ablation?
Radiofrequency ablation is an image guided treatment that places a needle electrode (conductor) into a cancerous tumor, which high-frequency electrical currents then pass through and destroy the cancer cells around the electrode. Microwave ablation is very similar in placing a needle into the tumor but uses microwaves to heat and destroy the cancer cells. Microwave ablation can also treat multiple tumors simultaneously and larger tumors than radiofrequency ablation. Both procedures are primarily used for liver cancer.