Interventional Radiology Interventional Oncology

Ingalls Interventional Oncology

Breakthrough procedures

Interventional radiologists at Ingalls offer several breakthrough procedures that offer numerous benefits to cancer patients, including minimally invasive techniques to prolong survival, provide pain relief, shrink tumors and improve overall quality of life.

  • Chemoembolization

    Chemoembolization is a method that uses small catheters and highly detailed imaging guidance to deliver chemotherapy directly into tumors. It is used to treat tumors that originate in the liver (primary liver cancer) or tumors that spread (metastasized) to the liver from other primary sites such as the colon or breast. During the procedure, anti-cancer drugs are injected directly into the blood vessel that feeds a cancerous tumor. In addition, a synthetic material called an embolic agent is placed inside the blood vessels that supply blood to the tumor, in effect trapping the chemotherapy in the tumor. This allows for a higher dose of chemotherapy since less of the drug is able to circulate to the healthy cells in the body. Chemoembolization is often performed in patients who cannot undergo surgery to remove the tumor. Even in cases where the cancer can not be cured, this approach may relieve a patient's symptoms and extend survival.

  • Radiofrequency Ablation (RFA)

    Radiofrequency ablation (RFA)is a minimally invasive, image-guided technique that heats and destroys cancer cells. It is most frequently used to treat relatively small tumors of the kidney, liver and lung. During radiofrequency ablation, imaging techniques such as ultrasound, computed tomography (CT) or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) are used to help guide a needle electrode into a cancerous tumor. High-frequency electrical currents are then passed through the electrode, creating heat that destroys the abnormal cells.

  • Cryoablation

    Cryoablation, also called cryotherapy, cryosurgery or targeted cryoablation therapy, is a minimally invasive treatment that uses extreme cold to freeze and destroy diseased tissue, including cancer cells. Although cryotherapy and cryoablation can be used interchangeably, the term "cryosurgery" is reserved best for cryotherapy performed using an open, surgical approach. During cryoablation, liquid nitrogen or argon gas is applied to cancerous cells. Physicians use image-guidance techniques such as ultrasound, computed tomography (CT) or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to help guide these freezing substances to treatment sites located inside the body. Cryoablation is commonly used to treat cancers of the prostate, liver and cervix.

  • Selective Internal Radiation Therapy (SIRT) or Radioembolization

    Ingalls is one of the few cancer programs in Illinois to offer SIRT, a non-surgical outpatient therapy that uses radioactive (Yttrium-90) microspheres to deliver radiation directly to the site of liver tumors. This unique, targeted therapy spares healthy tissue while delivering up to 40 times more radiation to liver tumors than would be possible using conventional radiotherapy. The technique uses the patient's blood supply to send the tiny spheres, smaller in diameter than a human hair, into the microscopic vessels that feed a cancerous tumor. The spheres eventually become lodged at the tumor sites where they deliver a high dose of radiation. This radiation treatment has been shown to extend life expectancy in patients with malignant liver tumors for several months on average.

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Liver Tumors

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Classes & events

Cancer Kicking Fruits and Vegetables

Good nutrition is one of the keys to life.

Cancer Support

A free weekly support group for men and women with cancer.

Freedom from Smoking

"Freedom Smoking," the American Lung Association's proven successful program, is being offered by the Ingalls Wellness Center for people who want to stop smoking.

Lymphedema Management Program


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Prostate Cancer Support Group

Y-Me Support Group

Breast Cancer Support Group

Your Choice Direct Screening

A variety of medical screenings that you can choose to take advantage of, even without a physician's order, which can offer peace of mind about your health, or can can help pinpoint potential issues you can address.

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