I am particularly interested in using image-guided interventional techniques to destroy tumors. Our section at MSKCC performs a large number of arterial embolization procedures, most commonly for tumors in the liver but involving other organs as well. Embolization involves occluding the blood supply to a tumor or tumors by guiding very small catheters through the blood stream, placing them into the blood vessels supplying a tumor, and injecting tiny particles into the artery until the flow of blood to the tumor has stopped.
Tumors can also be destroyed by various direct means including heat (using radiofrequency ablation), cold (using cryoablation), and certain chemicals such as alcohol. Collectively, these treatments are referred to as “percutaneous ablation.” Percutaneous ablation involves inserting a special needle or electrode directly into a tumor (typically using CT scan or ultrasound guidance) and, for example, injecting absolute alcohol or applying energy through the needle until a specified volume of tissue has been heated or cooled to a temperature at which cells die. At MSKCC we have performed percutaneous ablation of tumors in the liver, lungs, kidneys, adrenal glands, and bones.
I am also interested in studying and treating patients with complex biliary obstruction and, in particular, evaluating how treating biliary tract obstruction affects a patient’s quality of life.