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Gene Therapy: If At First You Don't Succeed . . . - Medicine and Society
ABSTRACT: Procedures performed by an interventional radiology specialist are becoming increasingly important in the management of patients with cancer. Although general interventional radiology procedures such as angiography and angioplasty are used in patients with and without cancer, certain procedures are reserved for the diagnosis and treatment of cancer or cancer-related complications. Interventional radiology procedures include imaging-guided biopsies to obtain samples for cytologic or pathologic testing without affecting adjacent structures. Transjugular liver biopsy is used to diagnose hepatic parenchymal abnormalities without traversing Glisson's capsule. This biopsy procedure is particularly useful in patients with coagulopathies. Because the transjugular liver biopsy obtains random samples, it is not recommended for biopsy of discrete hepatic masses. Fluid collections can also be sampled or drained using interventional radiology techniques. Transcatheter chemoembolization is a procedure that delivers a chemotherapeutic agent to a tumor along with sponge particles that have an ischemic effect on the mass. Tumor ablation, gene therapy and access of central veins for treatment are performed effectively under radiographic guidance. Cancer complications can also be treated with interventional radiology techniques. Examples include pain control procedures, vertebroplasty and drainage of obstructed organs. Interventional radiology techniques typically represent the least invasive definitive diagnostic or therapeutic options available for patients with cancer. They can often be performed at a lower cost and with less associated morbidity than other interventions.