chapter  10
46 Pages

Radio Frequency and Microwave Ablation

The term “ablation” is defi ned as the direct application of chemical or thermal therapies to a specifi c tumor (or tumors) in an attempt to achieve eradication or substantial tumor destruction. The methods of ablation most commonly used in current practice are divided into two main categories: chemical ablation and thermal ablation. Chemical ablation includes therapies, which are classifi ed on the basis of universally accepted chemical nomenclature of the agent(s), such as ethanol and acetic acid that induce coagulation necrosis and cause tumor ablation [1,2]. Thermal ablation is performed by interventional radiologists and is much less invasive than open surgery. Recent developments in thermal ablation have expanded the treatment options for certain oncology patients. Minimally invasive, image-guided therapy may now provide effective local treatment of isolated or localized neoplastic disease, and may also be used as an adjunct to conventional surgery, systemic chemotherapy, or radiation. Thermal ablation can be an alternative to risky surgery, and sometimes it can change a patient from having an inoperable tumor to being a candidate for surgery.