Innovation Matters

The power and evolution of Image Guided Therapy

Putting tumors in the picture: the power and evolution of image guided therapy

By Ronald Tabaksblat, Business Leader Image Guided Therapy Systems at Philips

Ronald Tabaksblat

The fourth of February marks World Cancer Day, which this year explores how everyone can do their part to reduce the impact cancer has on individuals and their families. World Cancer Day is an opportunity to not only reflect on the efforts already being made to support this community, but to look to the future and consider new innovations in the fight against cancer.

The past decade has seen great advancements in medicine and technology, particularly in the field of minimally invasive surgery. We have entered an age where these procedures are becoming more and more commonplace for many procedures – providing not only pinpoint accuracy but potentially less side effects and minimal recovery time.


This is especially true in the field of interventional oncology – where image-guided surgery can locate tiny tumors, deliver small doses of chemotherapy and block the blood vessels that feed them.

Tumors in the picture 1

I recently read an interesting patient-written article in the The Huffington Post which likened the process to a sniper rifle targeting a tumor. The sniper rifle being the catheter which, using real-time imaging, can be located inside the body and therefore can accurately shoot tiny chemotherapy-soaked beads at and around the tumor. It’s a procedure called transarterial chemoembolization (or TACE), which means that the tumor’s blood supply is cut off without damaging too much surrounding healthy tissue.


The benefits of this precision treatment are two-fold, for patients and hospital administrators. Firstly, patients can avoid the damaging side effects of traditional chemotherapy and radiation treatment. It also enables patients to leave hospital more quickly compared to other more invasive surgeries, supporting a speedier recovery time and reducing the cost for hospital administrators. These sorts of precisely targeted treatments are becoming more widespread in the field of interventional oncology, particularly as new treatments are sought to address the rise of liver cancer. Liver cancer is the second most deadly cancer and accounts for 745,000 annual deaths worldwide1 and can be particularly difficult to treat because of the number of tiny tumors present in the organ.

Recently, Philips proudly launched the next generation OncoSuite* at the 2016 Cardiovascular and Interventional Radiological Society of Europe annual meeting (CIRSE 2016) in Barcelona in September and the 2016 Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) annual meeting. OncoSuite can be used for a variety of different cancers, including kidney and lung – however, it has been optimized specifically for the treatment of patients with liver cancer.


OncoSuite is the first comprehensive interventional oncology portfolio for interventional radiologists – enabling physicians to see the entire tumor and its feeder vessels, allowing them to directly target the tumor and avoid affecting too much healthy tissue.


The innovative Open Trajectory feature of XperCT Dual allows flexible lateral table movement and repositioning of patients without affecting procedural workflow. A study shows that this feature enables better centering of the liver with significantly improved visualization of peripheral hepatic tumors2. This provides a more targeted field of view making it possible to effectively scan patients in a single sweep (rather than having to carry out multiple scans).


In addition, BTG (Biocompatibles UK Ltd.) and Philips have collaborated on enhancing the visualization benefits of radio-opaque beads in combination with image-guided therapy. BTG has calibrated their LC Bead LUMITM in combination with Philips’ Live Image Guidance software. As a result, the next generation OncoSuite also features the world’s first optimized imaging for LC Bead LUMITM that provides real-time visible confirmation of bead location during embolization procedures.3

Roadmapping image

So watch this space. This kind of precision targeting adds another dimension to the war on cancer the healthcare world is continuing to wage, as more advanced technologies become available.  Interventional oncology is a rapidly advancing and expanding field of medicine which will, no doubt, continue to play a bigger and bigger role in cancer care in the future.


*    OncoSuite is the combination of Philips’ innovative product offerings XperCT Dual, EmboGuide and XperGuide.


** LC Bead LUMITM is the official trademark of BTG (Biocompatibles UK Ltd.) and is not available as part of Philips’ OncoSuite.


1 Stewart, BW, Wild CW. World Cancer Report. 2014. Available at: Accessed November 2016

2 Schernthaner RE, et al. Feasibility of a modified cone-beam CT rotation trajectory to improve liver periphery visualization during transarterial chemoembolization. Radiology. 2015;277(3):833–41

3 Levy EB, et al. First Human Experience with Directly Image-able Iodinated Embolization Microbeads. Cardiovasc Intervent Radiol. 2016 Aug;39(8):1177-86

Ronald Tabakasblat

Ronald Tabaksblat

Business Leader Image Guided Therapy Systems at Philips

Ronald Tabaksblat

Senior Vice President and Business Leader of Image Guided Therapy Systems

Ronald Tabaksblat is Senior Vice President and Business Leader of Image Guided Therapy Systems at Philips. He leads teams in Best, in the Netherlands, and India that deliver the industry’s leading interventional imaging solutions. Until 2012 Ronald was responsible for leading the Diagnostic X-Ray business, also within Philips Imaging Systems. From 2007 to 2011 Ronald led the Cardiology Informatics business overseeing the development of solutions that distribute cardiology images and information, enable clinical reporting and workflow throughout the cardiac care cycle, and complement and interface to the Electronic Medical Record.


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