The surgical approach for radiofrequency ablation of liver tumors.

Guido Schumacher, Robert Eisele, Antonino Spinelli, Peter Neuhaus

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Radiofrequency ablation for the treatment of liver tumors is one of the best alternative treatment modalities when surgical resection is not possible. To find the right indication for the treatment, every patient should be treated in a high-volume center for the treatment of liver tumors in an interdisciplinary conference consisting of liver surgeons, interventional radiologists, medical oncologists, and gastroenterologists. With a multimodal approach including anatomic segmental and wedge resection of the liver, RFA, and chemotherapy, a median survival of 36 months was achieved in technically unresectable patients with colorectal liver metastases (Elias et al. 2005). This survival doubles the survival rate of any other treatment modality in this group of patients. These interdisciplinary conferences also serve to determine the approach for RFA, whether it should be percutaneous, laparoscopic, or open surgery. The safest ablation with the fewest adverse events from RFA is the open surgical approach, followed by the laparoscopic approach. The approach with the highest risk of injury to organs in proximity to the liver is the percutaneous approach. Therefore, many variables must be evaluated before making definite decisions. After choosing RFA as the best alternative treatment option after evaluation of all variables for a particular patient, it offers a treatment option with a potential cure. A major advantage is the possible combination with liver resection, which extends the indication for surgical or ablative therapy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)53-68
Number of pages16
JournalRecent results in cancer research. Fortschritte der Krebsforschung. Progres dans les recherches sur le cancer
Publication statusPublished - 2006


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