Head of Radiology, Regina Beets-Tan, on interventional radiology for cancer

29 Sep 2020 14:05

‘An increasingly common alternative for surgery with great advantages’

Over the past five years, the total number of patients receiving cancer treatment with interventional radiology has doubled. Interventional radiology is an increasingly common alternative to surgery. And the advantages are great.

Sharing knowledge about interventional radiology

“Interventional radiologist” is a known term, but what these people do exactly, and what they can mean for their patients, varies between every hospital and specialization. Beets-Tan: “We want to share the treatment types we offer at the NKI with general practitioners and other referrers. Interventional radiology, like burning the tumor, is an increasingly common alternative to surgery. It can be effective for tumors up to 5 cm in size, in curative and palliative treatments, and for a variety of tumor types. The results of interventional radiology are promising in cancer treatment because the treatment is much less invasive and the survival rates are good, as is the quality of life.”


Over the past years, the Netherlands Cancer Institute has invested in interventional radiology. Beets-Tan: “We hired a senior interventional radiologist from Barcelona, Fernando Gomez Munoz, as well as four interventional radiologists. We will soon start building three special units for interventional radiology, one of which will be at the OR. Patients can stay at these units. The benefit for us is that we have a large number of patients, which leads to a super-specialization.”