BACKGROUND. Radiofrequency thermal ablation (RFA) is a new minimally invasive treatment for localized cancer. Minimally invasive surgical options require less resources, time, recovery, and cost, and often offer reduced morbidity and mortality, compared with more invasive methods. To be useful, image-guided, minimally invasive, local treatments will have to meet those expectations without sacrificing efficacy. METHODS. Image-guided, local cancer treatment relies on the assumption that local disease control may improve survival. Recent developments in ablative techniques are being applied to patients with inoperable, small, or solitary liver tumors, recurrent metachronous hereditary renal cell carcinoma, and neoplasms in the bone, lung, breast, and adrenal gland. RESULTS. Recent refinements in ablation technology enable large tumor volumes to be treated with image-guided needle placement, either percutaneously, lapar-scopically, or with open surgery. Local disease control potentially could result in improved survival, or enhanced operability. CONCLUSIONS. Consensus indications in oncology are ill-defined, despite widespread proliferation of the technology. A brief review is presented of the current status of image-guided tumor ablation therapy. More rigorous scientific review, long-term follow-up, and randomized prospective trials are needed to help define the role of RFA in oncology.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cancer Research
- Minimally invasive therapy
- Radiofrequency thermal ablation
- Tumor ablation