Treating Unresectable Technological Innovations

Unresectable tumors are cancerous tumors that have spread too far or are too large to be removed through surgery. Although these tumors are inoperable, there are available treatments that can be prescribed to reduce symptoms and slow, or possibly halt, the tumor’s growth.

Current medical technology is allowing us to treat unresectable tumors in innovative ways. Scientists, physicians, medical device manufacturers, and software designers have developed new methods to manage patients with unresectable cancers. Here are some of the most advanced, cutting edge treatments for unresectable tumors.

Image-Guided Radiotherapy

Image-guided radiotherapy (IGRT) is a form of external beam radiotherapy that employs imaging to guide the radiation therapy treatment. The IGRT system involves images taken by MRI, CT, or PET scans that are used to identify the exact location of the tumor and its proximity to surrounding tissue. During treatment, the patient is scanned prior to the radiation delivery, allowing the oncology team to make timely corrections to the radiation plan.

High-Dose Radiotherapy

High-dose radiotherapy (HD-RT) is a form of radiation therapy designed to deliver high doses of radiation directly to the tumor, with the goal of thoroughly targeting the cancerous cells while sparing surrounding healthy tissue. Due to its targeted approach, HD-RT can be used to effectively reduce both primary tumor size and symptoms, making it a popular choice for those with unresectable tumors.

Intraoperative Radiation Therapy

Intraoperative radiation therapy (IORT) is a form of brachytherapy that delivers radiation directly to the tumor during or immediately following surgical procedures. During IORT procedures, an oncologist injects a radioactive isotope directly into the tumor, allowing the radiation to be delivered directly to the cancerous cells while minimizing damage to nearby healthy tissue.

CyberKnife Technology

CyberKnife is a robotic radiosurgery system that enables clinicians to deliver high doses of radiation to tumors with extreme accuracy. The system works by utilizing the patient's imaging scans to create a three-dimensional map of the tumor's location. The robot then uses this data to target the radiation beam at the tumor with submillimeter accuracy.

Systematic Drug Treatments

Targeted therapy is systemic drug treatment that is designed to specifically target the molecules and proteins in the tumor. This type of therapy can be used to help reduce tumor size and slow tumor growth. Targeted therapy is often used in combination with other treatments such as HD-RT and IORT to further improve outcomes.


Immunotherapy is a type of cancer treatment designed to boost the body’s immune system to prevent cancer cells from growing. Immunotherapy is an exciting and promising treatment option for unresectable tumors because it targets the tumor directly, without the need for toxic chemotherapy or radiation treatment.

These are just some of the technological advancements enabling us to treat unresectable tumors. With further research and development, we may soon find new and more effective ways to treat these difficult-to-treat cancers.