While interventional oncology (IO) is a relatively young field, its history spans many decades. Born out of the specialty of interventional radiology, interventional oncology (IO) encompasses the rapid growth in the use of minimally invasive techniques to treat cancer and manage its symptoms. Early IO studies were published in the 1950’s and 1960’s, assessing blood supply to tumors (1) and preliminary data on the value of angiographic techniques to deliver these precise treatments to cancer cells (2).
In the 1970’s, catheter embolization, an interventional technique used to stop blood flow to tumors, demonstrated the ability of these procedures to treat solid tumors in the liver, kidney, skeleton, and other organs (3,4) in patients who may not have been optimal candidates for surgical procedures. In the 1980’s, chemoembolization and other therapeutic agents were adopted for treatment for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC).
Over the last four decades, the combination of research and increasingly sophisticated technology have made it possible for multiple IO therapies to emerge and demonstrate effectiveness in treating many cancer types. Together with its sister pillars in cancer treatment – medical, surgical, and radiation – interventional oncologists play a critical role on the cancer care team, treating patients in clinics, hospitals, and serving on tumor boards and multi-disciplinary treatment teams (5). In 2017, the Board of Directors established the Society of Interventional Oncology as the only membership-based organization wholly dedicated to the emerging field of IO. Today, the society continues to provide research and education opportunities to practitioners in IO worldwide.
Bierman HR, et al. (1951) Apr;11(5):891-905. Studies on the blood supply of tumors in man. II. Intra-arterial nitrogen mustard therapy of cutaneous lesions. J Natl Cancer Inst..
Deitrich RS, Cope C, et al. (1962) Oct;23:31-8. Clinical trial with alanine mustard. Cancer Chemother Rep.
Baum S, Kuroda K, Roy (1965) Dec;3(3):583-99. The value of special angiographic techniques in the management of patients with abdominal neoplasms.
Am J Roentgenol (1975) 123: 57-562. Transcatheter embolization of renal cell carcinoma.
Doyon D, Mouzon A, Jourde AM, Regensberg C, Frileux C. (1974) 17(6):593-603. Hepatic, arterial embolization in patients with malignant liver tumours (author’s transl). Ann Radiol (Paris).
Erinjeri J. et al. (2019) Vol. 292, No. 1. Immunotherapy and the Interventional Oncologist: Challenges and Opportunities - A Society of Interventional Oncology White Paper. Radiology.