New interventional oncology treatments pushing the envelope on cancer care treatment at PRHC

Doctor and nurse in surgery

Dr. Kebby King has been providing minimally invasive care to patients in the donor-funded interventional radiology suites at Peterborough Regional Health Centre for 14 years. During that time she’s seen a lot of innovation in her field – making interventional radiology a broad specialty that can be used to diagnose and treat patients with a variety of medical conditions.

One area that has shown a lot of innovation in the application of interventional radiology is cancer care. Known as interventional oncology, this sub-specialty can be used to treat a variety of cancers and cancer-related disease – including kidney tumours, some types of pancreatic cancers, primary liver tumours, and cancer spread to the liver from the colon, pancreas and breast, to name a few – often allowing patients with cancer more time to live their lives.

“Interventional oncology has revolutionized cancer treatment,” says Dr. King. That’s because traditional cancer care involves administering chemotherapy medication to the entire body. For PRHC cancer patients who are candidates for interventional radiology, Dr. King and her colleagues perform very targeted treatments, using catheters and wires guided through tiny incisions in the skin and blood vessels, to focus precisely on the cancer.

“We’re able to specifically target the cancer,” explains Dr. King. “Either by delivering a higher dose of drugs to the target or by performing ablation or microwave therapy to kill the tumour directly.”

“We’re bombarding the cancer with all the good stuff to try to stem its spread and growth,” she says. “And because it’s so targeted, it has fewer side effects for the patient and it can be done on an outpatient basis.” Performed without the large incisions and associated risks of open surgery, it also means less pain and recovery time for patients.

This level of advanced and complex healthcare is available in the Peterborough region as a direct result of our generous donors. But PRHC’s interventional radiology suites are now 14 years old and are too small to fit new, advanced technology and the number of medical personnel required to use it. 

Your donations now will help shape the future of interventional radiology at PRHC. You’ll enable a $6 million upgrade and expansion of the interventional radiology facilities, including state-of-the-art equipment. With this essential upgrade, Dr. King and her colleagues will be able to perform more innovative and complex, minimally invasive procedures right here, so patients can receive the best care, close to home.

For more information or to support this exciting investment, please visit prhcfoundation.ca or call 705-876-5000.

Donors are helping the future of healthcare unfold across PRHC’s spectrum of care

PRHC Foundation donors have funded millions of dollars in equipment and technology across the wide spectrum of cancer care at Peterborough Regional Health Centre.

From the Norm & Jessie Dysart Radiation Centre and Breast Assessment Centre, to lifesaving investments in laboratory and surgical equipment, to current fundraising for two new CT scanners, a second MRI machine and technology that supports the automated preparation of chemotherapy medication, donors are supporting cancer screening, diagnosis and treatment for patients from across our region, close to home.

Among these prominent cancer care departments and tools though, is a lesser known area of medicine that is quickly becoming essential not only to cancer care, but to the future of healthcare at your hospital. Interventional radiology is an innovative specialty where experts like PRHC’s Dr. Sohail Zaheer use high-tech imaging to help them steer needles, guidewires and catheters into tiny incisions in the skin and through blood vessels. It’s used to find and fix issues just about anywhere in the body.

With it, Dr. Zaheer and his colleagues can stop bleeding, take tissue samples, put in access lines for dialysis, open up blood vessels, cauterize tumours, or even stop tumours from growing by blocking their blood supply. These procedures are performed without the large incisions and associated risks of open surgery.

This means less pain and shorter recovery times for patients like Liz, who was diagnosed and treated for metastatic breast cancer at PRHC. Interventional radiology is just part of the spectrum of her care made possible by your donations.

Dr. Zaheer shares that Liz is now cancer-free and he recently removed her port-a-cath – a device he implanted under her skin two years before for easy access to chemotherapy medication.

“As an interventional radiologist, the best part of my job is helping people like Liz get back to their lives as quickly and painlessly as possible,” he says.

There are a lot of patients like Liz. PRHC’s interventional radiologists already perform 6,000 procedures a year and the need is growing. But PRHC’s interventional radiology facilities are 13 years old, need updating, and are too small to fit essential new equipment and the number of medical personnel required to use it.

To meet that need and bring new treatments to our region, the Foundation is committed to funding a $6 million investment in interventional radiology. With your help, PRHC will renovate and expand its facilities, outfitting them with state-of-the-art technology. Then Dr. Zaheer and his colleagues can perform more – and more complex – procedures. “Because donors care, the future of healthcare is unfolding right here,” he says.

For more information on this exciting investment, please call 705-876-5000, or make a donation online.

Learn more about “the best kept secret in medicine”

A doctor poses outside the hospital

Dr. Fady Abdelsayed is an Interventional Radiologist at PRHC. We asked him to tell us about interventional radiology, known as “the best kept secret in medicine,” and how an upgrade and expansion to PRHC’s IR facilities will improve care for thousands of patients in our region…

What is interventional radiology?

In interventional radiology we use real-time imaging – radiology – to find and correct, or intervene in, health conditions. We use CT scans, fluoroscopy or ultrasound to steer needles, guidewires and catheters into tiny incisions in the skin or through blood vessels to perform a procedure.

What kind of procedures use interventional radiology?

Interventional radiology is becoming integral to patient care. We use it during scheduled procedures and in emergencies. It’s helpful for a wide range of health conditions and patients. If a patient has an infection, we might use interventional radiology to drain it. With cancer, we might use it to do a biopsy. Bleeding – we might use interventional radiology to stop the hemorrhage. And if surgery is too high-risk for a patient, this kind of procedure could be a safer, faster option. Some days, no two procedures are the same or an everyday procedure needs a new ‘twist’ to get the best result for that patient.

How does interventional radiology support great patient care at PRHC?

It helps us innovate and push the boundaries of what we can do for patients. It often lets us quickly give a patient relief from discomfort or help get them a diagnosis. Because it’s minimally invasive, patients have less pain, shorter hospital stays, and face less risks than with surgery.

If PRHC has this service now, why should donors invest in it?

Right now, interventional radiology is used for almost 6,000 patients at PRHC every year, but the two interventional radiology suites were built 13 years ago. They’re too small to fit the number of medical personnel and state-of-the-art equipment we need to expand and offer this care to more patients. We can do this with renovated suites, a new step-down unit and cutting-edge equipment. We’ll also be able to introduce new methods to treat things like stroke and cancer. We all want to give our patients the best care possible, but the government funds only a portion of the hospital’s costs. So, we’re very grateful to our community for helping us by donating to the PRHC Foundation. Thank you, donors!

For more information or to support this exciting investment, please click here or call 705-876-5000.