Skip to Content

View Additional Section Content

Interventional Radiology

Today, interventional radiologists can treat and alleviate some of the symptoms caused by cancer using minimally invasive techniques. To perform a biopsy (take tissue samples to assist in diagnosis), or to treat cancer and its symptoms, our specialists rely on:

  • Refined X-rays
  • Ultrasound
  • MRI and CT imaging technology for guidance
  • Catheters
  • Innovative microinstruments
  • Computerization

Generally, our team performs procedures using light sedation, on an outpatient basis.

Procedures provided at the Asplundh Cancer Pavilion:

  • Port placement for venous access
  • Paracentesis (removal of fluid from abdomen)
  • Thoracentesis (removal of fluid from the chest)
  • Placement of a peripherally inserted central catheter (PICC) line for venous access
  • Vena cava filter placement (to keep blood clots from traveling to the heart or lungs)
  • Bone marrow biopsy (removal of tissue for analysis

IR Procedures for Cancer

Chest Ports

A catheter placed under the skin of the chest that allows for infusion and blood draw without having to constantly place intravenous lines in the arms. These catheters can stay in for as long as treatment is needed and require very little maintenance.

Image-Guided Biopsies

Using ultrasound, x-ray and computed tomography, we can retrieve specimens from virtually anywhere in the body to aid in diagnosis and management. This decreases the need for a traditional open surgical biopsy and most patients go home within a few hours of their procedure.

Radioembolization and Chemoembolization

With careful technique, we can use a tumor's own blood supply to deliver a focused dose of chemotherapy or radiation directly to the tumor. This can help decrease side effects to the rest of the body.


A small probe can be inserted into many tumors.  This probe can create extreme temperatures within the tumor causing cell death while preserving normal tissue around the tumor.  This is also helpful for painful bone tumors.  Most patients go home the next day with a band-aid.  Other names for this procedure include radiofrequency ablation, microwave ablation and cryoablation.

Kyphoplasty or Vertebroplasty

Spinal fractures and tumors can be among the most painful and lifestyle limiting experiences for a patient.  A series of needles, x-ray guidance, cement and/or radiofrequency currently are used to decrease pain and stabilize fracture elements.


Blockages can occur in many body systems including urinary and biliary systems.  While oncologists and surgeons treat the tumor causing the blockage, we can help alleviate the symptoms of blockage by placing tubes to drain urine or bile into a bag.

If you would like to discuss ways IR can help in your cancer care, speak to your oncologist or call us directly at 215-481-6226.

Honored for Cancer Expertise

The American College of Surgeons' Commission on Cancer awarded Abington's program the  Outstanding Achievement Award in 2012 and 2015, one of only eight programs nationwide to earn this award two survey cycles in a row.

CoC Outstanding Achievement Award 2012

CoC Outstanding Achievement Award 2015

Call for a Cancer Physician or Navigator