Hamad Medical Corporation’s (HMC) National Center for Cancer Care and Research (NCCCR) has opened an Interventional Radiology Unit in Doha. The new facility features state-of-the-art imaging equipment and will be used exclusively for diagnosing and treating of cancer patients.

Present at the opening ceremony were Lara Waywell, Executive Director of Operations for NCCCR; Hassan Jawad, Assistant Executive Director of the NCCCR; Dr Ahmad Omar, Chairman of Radiology Department at HMC; and Dr Maryam Al Kuwari, Head of Radiology Department at NCCCR, Heart Hospital and Rumailah Hospital.

Interventional radiology is a specialty within radiology which utilises minimally invasive, image-guided procedures to diagnose and treat diseases using X-rays, CT imaging, ultrasound and MRI, according to Dr Omar. He said:

These minimally invasive techniques allow the doctor to insert tiny and very advanced medical instruments, such as medical catheters, into the body. The images provide road maps that allow the interventional radiologist to guide these instruments through the body to the required location. Medical treatment can then be delivered with the highest degree of accuracy. Procedures that once required large surgical incisions can now be done with a minimal incision.’

‘Interventional radiology helps us determine the exact location of the tumor and then start injecting chemotherapy drugs inside it. This procedure improves the efficiency of the drug and reduces the side effects for the patient. Interventional radiology therapies ensure the chemotherapy drugs are concentrated only on the tumor and the affected area, minimising damage to nearby tissue and reducing the side effects.’

‘In some cases, an interventional radiology procedure can be an appropriate substitute for traditional surgery. The reason is that it eliminates the risks of surgery and helps the doctor to identify the precise location of the tumor and the correct way to reach it.’

Dr. Maryam Al Kuwari said:

The NCCCR’s interventional radiology unit will make biopsies safer, more convenient and less painful than before as the radiologist can use this technology to guide the instruments through the body to the areas of interest, in order to collect a sample of cells or tissue…Interventional radiology procedures were formerly considered as complementary or post-surgical procedures. However, research has proven they can now be considered as a primary specialized treatment and these procedures are used in many tertiary hospitals worldwide for a wide range of diseases and medical conditions. The new interventional radiology facility at the NCCCR will ensure effective, high-quality medical care that is more convenient, less stressful and less painful for the patients.’

The interventional radiology unit will be offering a wide range of medical procedures and will offer considerable benefits to patients. Many procedures will now be more comfortable, incisions will be smaller and side effects reduced.