On Saturday, April 15, CIRSE hosted the second edition of the IO Foundation Course in advance of ECIO 2023 in Stockholm. This course provided young interventionalists interested in expanding their practice to include oncology treatments a first introduction to the fourth pillar of cancer care.
The 2023 IO Foundation Course
“Cancers we treat are getting smaller because we can pick them up earlier… it’s inconceivable, I think, that in the future tiny metastases will be treated surgically. It’s far more likely that they will be dealt with using imaging guidance, either with sophisticated methods of radiotherapy or with interventional radiological methods of treatment.”
– Prof. Andreas Adam
Formerly a little-known option in only a few specific cancer cases, interventional oncology treatments have grown vastly in importance over the last decades. No longer just a palliative option, potentially curative IR procedures are emerging and interventional oncology (IO) has been established as a first-line treatment for many pathologies.
In addition to getting to know the IO tool kit, participants in this year’s IO Foundation Course learned about the main elements of oncology care provided by MDT members, including the essentials of surgical, medical, and radiation oncology.
Prof. Andreas Adam opened the session with an introduction to the essentials of oncology with a strong statement for the future; “Cancers we treat are getting smaller, because we can pick them up earlier… It’s inconceivable, I think, that in the future tiny metastases will be treated surgically. It’s far more likely that they will be dealt with using imaging guidance, either with sophisticated methods of radiotherapy or with interventional radiological methods of treatment.” He pointed out that a main reason that we are not there yet is because interventional oncology is limited in visibility, treated as an “optional extra” rather than a first-course treatment in many hospitals.
“Limited visibility is intimately related to the fact that most interventional radiologists who treat cancer still work as technicians rather than as fully-fledged clinicians.” There is also an absence of formal training in interventional oncology.
He explained the format and aims of the course; namely, to take the essential aspects of oncology and boil them down into short, to-the-point talks on the most vital elements. “We need to understand the main diseases treated by interventional oncologists, and we need to know what others do.”
The IO Foundation Course has been designed as a primer to the European Curriculum for Interventional Oncology, allowing participants in the course to be able to build on what they learn as they gain more in-depth knowledge of the CIRSE curriculum for IO.
The foundation course included the essentials of oncology, lung cancer and lung metastases, primary liver cancer and liver metastases, and renal cell carcinoma. Each presenter within the sessions was given 10 minutes to hone in on specific aspects or treatment options in the topic at hand, and time for questions and discussion was given after every session. The course concluded with a session on clinical practice in IO, including information on how to run an outpatient clinic.
About 100 registrants took part in the course, with many trainees and young physicians in attendance.
“You’re making a contribution by being here.” Prof. Adam stated. “If this carries on the way it’s going, it will really lay the foundations for interventional oncology becoming a mainstream part of cancer care.”
All-Access Pass holders can watch the full IO Foundation Course on demand via the ECIO 2023 platform!