Smilow Interventional Oncology Program
The Interventional Oncology Program at Smilow Cancer Hospital offers cutting-edge specialized services that complement and support medical, surgical, and radiation oncology to provide optimal patient care.
A team of dedicated professionals offers minimally invasive, imaging-guided therapies for patients with liver, colorectal, lung, bone/soft tissue, kidney, and metastatic cancers. These therapies can be used either as primary or adjuvant treatments.
In addition, our program provides a range of therapeutic options used for palliative care, including biopsy, vascular port and chemotherapy catheter placement, abscess drainage, stenting of malignant strictures, and therapies for pain relief.
Minimally invasive Interventional Oncology treatments include:
- Chemoembolization: Selective delivery of chemotherapy directly to the tumor through a catheter located in the artery feeding the tumor
- Radioembolization: Selective delivery of radioactive particles directly to the tumor through a catheter located in the artery feeding the tumor
- Radiofrequency Ablation: A procedure that uses radio waves to heat and destroy cancerous cells via a needle inserted in the patient’s skin
- Cryoablation: A procedure in which an extremely cold temperature (via a cryoprobe inserted through the patient’s skin) is used to freeze and destroy cancer tissue.
- Microwave Ablation: A procedure that uses microwaves to heat and destroy cancerous cells.
- NanoKnife: Irreversible Electoroporation Cancer Ablation, or NanoKnife therapy, is available as a treatment option for liver cancer at Smilow Cancer Hospital. NanoKnife is a state-of-the-art minimally invasive cancer treatment that applies a high voltage of electrical pulses to induce targeted cancer death, while minimizing surrounding tissue damage in highly selective and challenging anatomic locations, such as the liver.
- Pain Palliation Treatment: Therapeutic options consisting of ablation, chemoembolization, or radioembolization designed specifically to relieve pain caused by primary or metastatic tumors.
Interventional Oncology Program Members
Igor Latich, MDInterventional Radiology, Musculoskeletal Oncology, Sarcoma, Head & Neck CancersIgor Latich, MD, is an interventional radiologist focused on helping patients—particularly those with cancer—have less pain, improved mobility, and a better quality of life. Dr. Latich specializes in the treatment of degenerative and tumor-related musculoskeletal and spine disease with a particular focus on pain management. “My primary focus is clinical care and development of new service lines within interventional radiology, such as orthopaedic interventions, endoscopic-guided interventions and laser-assisted biliary stone management, and improvement to existing pain and palliative service lines,” he says. “I enjoy how my job allows me to interact with patients while providing minimally invasive treatments for complex disease processes. I tell patients I will never give up on them.” His research interests span the world of interventional orthopaedics (development of novel percutaneous methods for acetabular stabilization in metastatic disease), biliary interventions (development of solutions for percutaneous sclerosis of the gallbladder mucosa in non-operative patients with cholecystitis), and quality improvement (development of anti-coagulation guidelines to rationalize the use of reversal agents). Dr. Latich is actively involved in diagnostic radiology and interventional radiology trainee and medical student education and serves on the medical school admissions committee.
David C. Madoff, MDInterventional RadiologyDavid C. Madoff, MD, is Professor of Radiology & Biomedical Imaging and Medical Oncology at Yale School of Medicine. His current administrative roles are Vice Chair for Clinical Research and Section Chief of Interventional Radiology. Dr. Madoff earned his B.A. from Emory University and his M.D. from the University of Pittsburgh. He completed both his internship in Internal Medicine and residency in Radiology at SUNY at Stony Brook and his fellowship training in Vascular and Interventional Radiology at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. Dr. Madoff achieved Board Certification in Diagnostic Radiology from the American Board of Radiology in 2000 and attained his Certificate of Added Qualifications in Vascular and Interventional Radiology in 2002. He was a faculty member in the Section of Interventional Radiology at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas for a decade before joining New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center in 2011. While at Weill Cornell, Dr. Madoff served as Division Chief of Interventional Radiology from 2011 to 2015 and Vice Chair for Academic Affairs from 2015 to 2019. He moved to Yale in July, 2019. Dr. Madoff has a strong background in clinical care and has treated many patients with complex oncological problems. His clinical interests are wide-ranging, and have included visceral vascular, hepatobiliary and genitourinary interventions, various embolotherapy and percutaneous biopsy techniques and many specialized therapies within the realm of Interventional Oncology. In particular, Dr. Madoff is world-renowned for his work on preoperative portal vein embolization, a technique used to improve the safety of major hepatic resection. This technique is based on the liver's ability to regenerate and has been used in patients with primary and metastatic hepatobiliary cancer to increase the size of the anticipated liver remnant before surgery. Without this procedure, many patients with potentially resectable disease would not be eligible for curative resection. Dr. Madoff is a leader in academic Interventional Radiology and has been an invited speaker at numerous national and international meetings. He authored or co-authored over 160 peer-reviewed scientific articles, has written more than 30 book chapters and served as co-editor of four textbooks including Venous Embolization of the Liver: Radiologic and Surgical Practice (2011), Clinical Interventional Oncology (2014) and Interventional Radiology: Fundamentals of Clinical Practice (2019). Dr. Madoff served as Deputy Editor-in-Chief for the Journal of Vascular and Interventional Radiology from 2007 to 2010 and Deputy Editor for Radiology from 2012 to 2017. Dr. Madoff currently serves as founding co-Editor-in-Chief for Digestive Disease Interventions and on the editorial boards of additional publications that include Techniques in Vascular and Interventional Radiology , Seminars in Interventional Radiology, European Radiology Experimental, Cancer Biology & Medicine , Chinese Clinical Oncology and Current Oncology Reports . Dr. Madoff is active in many of the major radiological societies including the Radiological Society of North America, the American Roentgen Ray Society, the Society of Interventional Radiology and the Association of University Radiologists and serves on the Board of Trustees of the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT). Based on his important contributions to the field, Dr. Madoff was elected Fellow of the Society of Interventional Radiology in 2007, the American College of Radiology in 2015 and the Cardiovascular and Interventional Radiology Society of Europe in 2018.
Juan Carlos Perez Lozada, MDRadiology & Biomedical Imaging, Interventional Radiology, Non-Invasive Vascular Imaging, Vascular & Endovascular SurgeryJuan Carlos Perez Lozada, MD, is an interventional radiologist who says he enjoys the minimally invasive aspect of his work that allows patients to recover rapidly. “The extensive variety of pathology each day makes this field my passion,” Dr. Perez Lozada says. “My favorite part of interventional radiology is the scope and breadth of clinical conditions and procedures that I can treat and the constant innovation of my field. I love that I still am able to guide and counsel patients in clinic and be part of their treatment team.” He says he always lets his patients know that their well-being is his priority. “I want them to be safe regardless of the procedure. I want the best treatment possible regardless of the specialty that will take care of them,” he says. “The best patient is the one that has knowledge of their options.” Dr. Perez Lozada offers uterine fibroid embolization, spine interventions, pain management and nerve blocks, dialysis interventions, management of deep venous thrombosis and pulmonary embolism, and interventional oncology.
Jeffrey Pollak, MDRadiology & Biomedical Imaging, Non-Invasive Vascular Imaging, Interventional RadiologyJeffrey Pollak, MD, is a vascular and interventional radiologist who specializes in the minimally invasive treatment of blood vessel abnormalities (including occlusions and abnormally developed vessels) and of tumors. While active in all aspects of vascular and interventional radiology, Dr. Pollak’s current major interests are embolotherapy (embolization) for acquired and congenital vascular abnormalities and malformations (other than in the brain), fibroids, and malignancies, as well as other minimally invasive treatments for tumors, such as local ablation, particularly in the liver and kidney. “For smaller and more limited tumors, the preferred method is local ablation. The second method is the delivery of material through the liver artery supplying the tumor to injure and destroy it,” Dr. Pollak explains. “The injected material commonly consists of concentrated chemotherapy mixed with other material, usually special plastic beads, but also may consist of special radiation-emitting beads to create internal radiation therapy.” Dr. Pollak, who says he mixes honesty with humor to reassure patients and make them feel comfortable, is an expert in vascular procedures in the liver, such as intrahepatic portosystemic shunts and venous procedures, including inferior vena cava filters and opening blocked veins. Dr. Pollak is the director of the multidisciplinary Yale Hereditary Hemorrhagic Telangiectasia Program, which was started as the first of its kind in the world in the early 1990s. As such, he has extensive experience in the evaluation and management of patients with this genetic disorder, with particular expertise in embolization of pulmonary arteriovenous malformations, which frequently occur in this population. Additionally, he is the co-director of the Yale Pulmonary Embolism Response Team, a group of physicians interested in the advancement of the management of patients with this condition, especially those with more severe manifestations.
Todd Schlachter, MDRadiology & Biomedical Imaging, Non-Invasive Vascular Imaging, Interventional Radiology, Pediatric Interventional RadiologyTodd Schlachter, MD, is an Assistant Professor of Radiology and Biomedical Imaging at the Yale School of Medicine, whose research interests include liver cancer and diseases involving the liver. Dr. Schlachter completed his surgical intern year at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and his Radiology Residency from the University of Connecticut School of Medicine. After finishing his Interventional Radiology fellowship at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in 2012, he was hired as an Attending where he focused on treating a wide range of vascular diseases including liver cancer. Dr. Schlachter is committed to working together to determine the most effective treatments for his patients.
Darryl Zuckerman, MDInterventional RadiologyDarryl Zuckerman, MD, is a vascular and interventional radiologist with over 30 years experience, who uses imaging-guidance to provide a minimally-invasive means to treat a range of conditions, including cancer and vascular disease, as well as uterine fibroids , kidney obstruction, gastrointestinal hemorrhage, , and trauma. He uses such approaches as percutaneous microwave ablation, which uses heat to destroy tumors, and arterial embolization, which blocks blood supply to a tumor. Dr. Zuckerman became a radiologist because he wanted to offer minimally invasive, non-surgical treatments to patients struggling with medical problems to reduce their pain and risk for complications. “I enjoy the blend of cutting-edge technology, state-of-the-art imaging, and procedural-based medicine to offer patients a safe way to treat their condition,” he says. “We have a dedicated staff of specialists who have developed an expertise that is not matched in the region, and who have access to all the latest innovations to improve patient care,” he says. In addition to caring for patients, Dr. Zuckerman is an associate professor at Yale School of Medicine interested in exploring the best ways to take advantage of developments in science to give patients more options.