Definition of Interventional Oncology

Interventional Oncology

An interventional Oncologist (IO) is a doctor with specialist skills in image interpretation, interventional procedures and clinical care of oncology patients through a broad range of minimally invasive procedures across a wide range of cancers spanning the entire body.

What is Interventional Oncology?

Interventional Oncology (IO) is a cutting-edge, dynamic and rapidly evolving clinical subspecialty of Interventional Radiology (IR) that uses image guidance to perform targeted, minimally invasive oncology procedures. IO is practised by Clinical Radiologists who have undertaken advanced training to manage patients as part of a multidisciplinary Oncology team, contributing to diagnosis, treatment, cure and palliation of cancer patients. IO is recognised internationally as a pillar of oncology care, alongside medical oncology, radiation oncology and surgical oncology, providing significant value to patients, hospitals and the broader healthcare system.

Who is an Interventional Oncologist?

An interventional Oncologist (IO) is both a Clinical Radiologist and Interventional Radiologist with specialist skills in image interpretation, interventional procedures and clinical care of oncology patients, including participation in clinical decision making. IOs are experts in providing care to cancer patients through a broad range of minimally invasive procedures across a wide range of cancers spanning the entire body. Image-guided modalities used by IOs for diagnostic and therapeutic purposes include radiographs, fluoroscopy, digital subtraction angiography, ultrasound, CT, PET/CT and MRI.

Benefits of Interventional Oncology

  • Patient centred care
  • Targeted, personalised medicine with both curative and palliative intent
  • Minimally invasive
  • Cost-effective treatments
  • Improved patient outcomes:
    • Fewer complications
    • Fast recovery
    • Shorter hospitalisations
    • Less expensive
    • Curative and palliative treatment options

Skills and attributes of an Interventional Oncologist

  • Expert clinical skills with a patient-centred focus.
    • An IO can discuss patient care within a multidisciplinary team context, undertake clinical consultations, perform patient assessments, determine appropriate diagnostic imaging and treatment options, provide post-procedure after care, manage complications appropriately and take responsibility for ensuring necessary follow-up.
  • A wide range of Oncology knowledge
    • An IO demonstrates understanding of tumour biology and pathology, patient physiology, multidisciplinary care and treatment algorithms that include surgery, chemotherapy, immunotherapy, Radiation Oncology and Interventional Oncology.
  • Advanced technical skill for performing IO procedures
    • An IO possesses a wide-range of technical skills to perform high quality, safe and effective endovascular and percutaneous procedures that include, but are not limited to, tumour ablation, intra-arterial therapies such as chemoembolization and radioembolisation, pain management, advanced biopsies, other percutaneous tumour treatments and complications that may arise.
  • Specialist Diagnostic imaging skills
    • IOs are dual-trained clinical radiologists able to interpret imaging across the full-spectrum of medical imaging
  • Adherence to highest quality standards of clinical care and ethical practise
  • Understands the importance of research
    • IOs understand the importance of research and having a contemporary evidence base that supports IO practise
  • Embraces continuing professional development
  • Demonstrates good interpersonal skills and can communicate effectively with patients, their families and friends, as well as referrers and other colleagues.

Appendix A РInterventional Oncology  РProcedures

Appendix B – Interventional Oncology – Tools