What is interventional oncology?
Interventional oncology is a multi-disciplinary approach to treating cancer. In this video, Bradford Wood, MD, senior investigator at the National Institutes of Health, explains how it helps doctors identify and treat tumors at earlier stages.
Interventional oncology is a category within interventional radiology to some.
To others, it's a multidisciplinary approach to cancer. And it's the use of minimally invasive image-guided therapies
towards cancer goals. Imaging has traditionally been applied to cancer and to other diseases as a way
to get this current status. So a freeze-frame picture. We often wait months, years afterwards
to see how things have changed and then go make major treatment decisions based upon that information. One of the exciting things about my discipline
is we're investigating new ways to apply that imaging in real time while you're evaluating the patient,
potentially while you're treating the patient, many times with minimally invasive image-guided therapies-- or "video game surgery," some people call it.
But we apply that imaging information when we need it most-- while the patient is on a procedure table, while we are actually doing a therapeutic procedure
to the patient, with the patient, for the patient. And that information thereby closes the gap
between diagnosis and therapy. You can't do it without having the chemist to help design the particles.
Having a software engineer help design the navigation pieces required to get to the right spot. Having an image processing person
help define what information needs to be extracted. Having nurse practitioners and nurses help gather data and help you interpret things
to the patients. Help educate patients. Having a mechanical engineer build some of the devices and design them so they're patient-specific.
I mean, the list goes on. It's just an incredible place to work and it's an incredible example of the symphony of academic medicine and what it can do.
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