Renowned Interventional Oncologist Joins Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center

Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center recently welcomed a new member to its team of cancer experts. Riccardo Lencioni, M.D., joined Sylvester as Director of Interventional Oncology Research from the University of Pisa in Italy, where he was a professor at the School of Medicine. Lencioni is an accomplished interventional oncology specialist, particularly well-known for his influential work on liver cancer.

“I am delighted to join the group brought together by Dr. Govindarajan Narayanan,” said Lencioni, who will also be professor of clinical radiology at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. “The interventional oncology program at Sylvester is known worldwide for the use of innovative technologies and the outstanding contributions to the development of this new branch of medicine.”

Using image-guided, minimally invasive techniques, interventional oncologists deliver different types of cancer therapies directly to the tumor. It is an emerging field of cancer care that complements existing treatment options. In the mid-2000s, Lencioni and colleagues published a vision statement that is widely considered the birth of interventional oncology.

“Dr. Lencioni is an outstanding addition to the Sylvester team of experts,” said Stephen D. Nimer, M.D., Director of Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center. “He is one of the world’s foremost interventional oncologists and has done critically important work in advancing the treatment of liver cancer. My colleagues and I look forward to working with Dr. Lencioni to expand treatment options for Sylvester patients. Together with Dr. Govindarajan Narayanan, who is also a world renowned interventional oncologist at Sylvester, we have one of the very best and broadest programs in the world that provides lifesaving tumor-directed treatments for our patients.”

In some cancer patients, tumors and metastases cannot be removed surgically because of their location within organs and because of other factors. In these cases, interventional oncologists can install arterial catheters and/or transcutaneous needles to directly expose cancer cells to chemotherapies or energy-based treatments such as radiation. The catheters and needles are removed immediately after treatment and patients can go home.

With the advent of molecular-targeted agents in cancer treatment, Lencioni has been focusing on potential synergies between these novel therapeutic options and interventional techniques. He has been the principal investigator of the two largest clinical trials assessing the benefit of innovative regimens. He was also part of the research group that showed, for the first time, that a genetically-engineered virus injected directly into a tumor has the potential to improve survival in cancer patients.

Lencioni has been the Chairman of the European and the World Conference of Interventional Oncology. He has authored more than 190 articles in peer-reviewed international journals and numerous chapters in textbooks on interventional radiology, gastroenterology, oncology and surgery. In addition, he has been the editor of nine books, including “Embolization Therapy: Principles and Clinical Applications,” just published in 2015.

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