Interventional oncology uses image guided techniques for local and minimally invasive cancer treatment. Over the past ten years, interventional oncology as a minimally invasive treatment option has assumed a prominent position in cancer treatment alongside surgery, external beam radiation, and systemic therapy.
Two examples of interventional oncology are the burning or freezing of kidney tumors, and highly localized treatment of liver metastases using radioactive seeds or chemotherapy. Brigit Aarts evaluated both treatment types in her PhD dissertation. She set out to identify various factors associated with safety, efficacy, and survival, which could improve treatment, and will allow us to pinpoint the patients who will benefit from interventional treatment.
Brigit Aarts: "What's great about interventional oncology, is that it provides my patients with a treatment that is much less invasive and won't cause so many side-effects. Some patients can receive this treatment to temporarily keep their cancer under control, with less side-effects. For others, we aim to cure the cancer and can now limit the amount of time they will need to stay at the hospital, as well as the side-effects they will experience."
Brigit started her Radiology and Nuclear Health training at the Amsterdam UMC, location VU. She saw the AVL research team at the Radiology department as a close community of people, who join forces for the improved implementation of modern imaging techniques for the improvement of cancer treatment.
The main thing she learned from her supervisor, Regina Beets-Tan? "If you enjoy what you do and are truly passionate about it, it doesn't matter that it's a lot of work. The road to success will be just as satisfying as reaching your goal."