Interventional Oncology – Targeted Cancer Treatments

Leading clinical and interventional radiologists from LION Oncology discuss the latest in targeted cancer treatments you might not know about, but should.

LION Oncology is a group of Interventional Radiologists who specialise in targeted cancer treatments and other procedures that target tumours in the liver, lung and kidneys specifically. The group consists of five highly trained and specilised Interventional Radiologists. All of them working together and super-specialising in procedures that target lesions and organs through x-rays and combining them in some treatments with chemotherapy and radiotherapy to effectively target cancer.

What is interventional oncology and how does it differ from conventional oncology?

Rather than treating the whole body, interventional radiology is a specialty where a doctor trained in medical imaging uses X-rays and scans to guide treatment to a specific organ in the body, through the use of catheters (fine tubes). They direct it to the liver, lungs, or kidneys or even cut off blood supply (embolise) to a tumour to “starve it”. Whilst there are more than a dozen types of procedures that the team get involved in, the most common procedures tend to target the liver.

The three most common targeted liver treatments:

TACE (transarterial chemo-embolisation)

This is a method of sending high dose chemotherapy into the liver via the arteries.

SIRT (selective internal radiation therapy) 

This procedure delivers a high dose of radioactive particles into liver tumours, in a similar way to TACE.

Chemosaturation (Percutaneous Hepatic Perfusion)

This is a new technique aimed at delivering very high doses of chemotherapy into the liver whilst on a liver bypass machine (similar to a heart bypass machine).

How do the treatments fit in with the other treatments like Chemotherapy, Radiotherapy that Oncologists often recommend and talk about?

Targeted treatments are usually considered where there is a defined tumour that cannot be cut out by surgically removing it or effectively treated by other methods such as Chemotherapy, Radiotherapy or Immunotherapy. In the past years the LION team they have found that targeted treatments are increasingly effectively when used earlier in the patient’s treatment plan, as well in combination or in-between other whole body treatments. In many cases the targeted treatments have eliminated tumours completely or shrunk them so that surgery has become an option.

What are some of the benefits of targeted treatments?

One of the benefits of the targeted treatment is that the hospital stays are quite short compared to surgery and other oncology treatments usually either day case or a night’s stay in hospital. Because they don’t treat the entire body, patients are reporting fewer side effects and a very quick return to their normal activities following treatment. A grateful patient recently wrote to us to say: “thank you for helping sort out my naughty liver again last week. J and I were so happy to be able to attend our friend’s wedding approximately 36 hours after the operation!”

What other treatments do the LION Interventional Radiologists get involved in?

All treatments that the LION team can offer can be found on or by calling 0207 9083756. You can also email us at: and our team will guide you through your available options.

Who provides the technology for these treatments?

For SIRT treatments the technology is provided by SIRTEX

For Chemosaturation treatments the technology is provided by DELCATH Systems UK Limited


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