Interventional Oncology

At AURA, you can access the most experienced team in Europe providing interventional procedures for the treatment of certain cancers.

What is interventional oncology?

Interventional oncology allows us to provide minimally invasive, image-guided diagnosis and treatment of a variety of cancer conditions. Sometimes these treatments provide a less hazardous alternative to conventional surgery or may enable novel and innovation options to treat or palliate a cancer. In some cases, these procedures can provide improved outcomes when no other solutions had previously existed.

Interventional oncology is becoming established as an essential and independent ‘fourth’ pillar of multidisciplinary oncologic care.

Common interventional oncology procedures


The growth of a tumour may sometimes interfere with the functioning of an aspect of the body, due to either internal or external obstruction of the lumen. This may prevent the patient urinating, defaecating or eating normally. In these cases, a metallic stent can be placed to help restore function to the affected structure. Although the tumour itself may not be specifically treated, the relief of clinical signs is often sufficient to help restore an acceptable quality of life for the patient.

The video shows two examples how vascular occlusion can be used to control the continued growth of certain tumour types. 

Vascular procedures

Using minimally invasive techniques to place devices that completely block the flow of blood to the tumour tissue or enable chemotherapy to be delivered directly into the arterial supply of the tumour. By disrupting continued growth of the tumour, Common sites where vascular ablation or intra-arterial chemotherapy has been used with good success in dogs include cancers of the liver, prostate and lung.

Tumour ablation procedures

This minimally invasive treatment allows tumour tissue to be destroyed using extreme temperatures. Examples of ablation procedures are radiofrequency ablation and microwave ablation. Microwave ablation is used at AURA, and may be performed with either ultrasound guidance, laparoscopy or at the time of open surgery.

Ablation can be used to manage unresectable tumours or help alleviate symptoms.

AURA Stories

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Prostatic embolisation – first in Europe

Prostatic embolisation in veterinary patients has only been performed in a small numbers of centres globally and not previously in Europe. The initial results from a study at the University of California Davis documented up to a 40% reduction in the volume of prostatic tumours following embolisation along with significant improvements in the patient’s quality of life (the ability to pass urine and faeces in particular). Prostatic embolisation can now be performed alongside targeted intra-arterial (IA) chemotherapy. IA chemotherapy has been administered to over forty patients with lower urinary tract tumours at AURA in the past 24 months with excellent results (up to 30% reduction in prostatic size and improvement in clinical signs). The Interventional Radiology team at AURA have extensive experience in embolisation techniques as they regularly perform chemo-embolisation of other non-resectable tumours including large hepatocellular carcinomas.

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Interventional oncology staff

Gerard Mclachlan
Dr Gerard McLauchlan
Interventional Oncology / Interventional Medicine / Internal Medicine
Jen O'Keeffe
Jen O’Keeffe
Senior Nurse (Interventional Radiology)