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Semin Intervent Radiol. 2013 Jun;30(2):141-50. doi: 10.1055/s-0033-1342955.

Lung cancer ablation: technologies and techniques.

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Department of Diagnostic Imaging, Rhode Island Hospital, The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island.


The incidence of lung cancers in 2012 is estimated to reach 226,160 new cases, with only a third of patients suitable surgical candidates. Tumor ablation has emerged as an important and efficacious treatment option for nonsurgical lung cancer patients. This localized minimally invasive therapy is best suited for small oligonodular lesions or favorably located metastatic tumors. Radiofrequency ablation has been in use for over a decade, and newer modalities including microwave ablation, cryoablation, and irreversible electroporation have emerged as additional treatment options for patients. Ablation therapies can offer patients and clinicians a repeatable and effective therapy for palliation and, in some cases, cure of thoracic malignancies. This article discusses the available technologies and techniques available for tumor ablation of thoracic malignancies including patient selection, basic aspects of procedure technique, imaging follow-up, treatment outcomes, and comparisons between various therapies.


cryoablation; interventional radiology; lung cancer; microwave ablation; radiofrequency ablation; thermal ablation

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