Cancer Treatment

Interventional oncology refers to the use of precise, targeted therapies through the blood vessels to both diagnose and treat tumors. These therapies can be used as a front-line treatment, or used in combination with other treatments. The advantage to these treatments is that they can more precisely treat anatomical cancers while minimizing the effects of the treatment on the rest of the body.


The biopsies performed by Memphis Vascular Center doctors are less invasive than surgical biopsies. Using imaging to guide the biopsy needle, a sample of the area in question is removed and then sent to a laboratory for evaluation. Biopsies can be guided by CT, X-ray or ultrasound, depending on the type of cancer suspected and where it is within the body.

cancer treatment - Tennessee

Thermal Tumor Ablation

At Memphis Vascular Center, we perform two different types of tumor ablation procedures. Both use very small catheters guided by medical imaging to precisely reach and target the tumor directly. Radiofrequency ablation is a procedure where high heat is focused through a special device to destroy the tumor cells. Cryoablation uses extremely cold gas to freeze tumor cells.

For treating bone cancer, radiofrequency ablation is used by our doctors to destroy a tumor growing within the spine or other skeletal structure. In some cases, a special cement can be injected into the area of the bone in which the tumor was destroyed, to strengthen and reinforce the bone.

Tumor Embolization

Arterial embolization procedures differ from ablation procedures in that they embolize or “block” the artery feeding oxygenated blood to the cancerous tumor. Deprived of its lifeline and food supply, the tumor shrinks. During an embolization procedure, the interventional radiologist releases tiny microspheres via catheter into the artery near the tumor, which become lodged in the microvasculature surrounding the tumor, where they block the flow of blood.

A variation of this procedure, transarterial chemoembolization, uses microspheres that contain chemotherapy medication. Unlike traditional chemotherapy, this is a more precise treatment that exposes the tumor to the chemotherapy medication, sparing the surrounding healthy tissue and minimizing the toxic effects of the medication.

Transarterial Y-90 Radioembolization

Another variation, Y-90 radioembolization, uses microspheres that contain the radioactive element Yttrium-90. This is a highly effective treatment for inoperable liver tumors because it targets the tumor with minimal effect on the healthy tissue within the liver. Memphis Vascular Center is one of the very few centers in the region that performs Y-90 radioembolization on an outpatient basis for the convenience of our patients. Our treatment center is specially outfitted with the equipment and protocols needed to perform this treatment in a non-hospital setting.

Contact us at 901-683-1890 for more information. Or schedule an appointment online HERE.

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