Cancer Treatment Centers of America

Radiofrequency ablation for liver cancer

RFA for liver cancer

RFA has become a major treatment method for small tumors. This technique may offer faster, more targeted liver cancer treatment with fewer side effects and shorter hospital stays compared with standard therapies.

Other forms of ablation therapy include the following:

  • Cryoablation: Cryoablation uses extreme cold to destroy cancer cells. Guided by ultrasound imaging, your doctor will place the cryoprobe (metal probe) containing liquid nitrogen directly onto liver tumors. The cryoprobe destroys the tumor by freezing it. Cryoblation may be used to treat larger tumors than the other ablation techniques, and it sometimes requires general anesthesia.
  • Percutaneous alcohol ablation: Also known as percutaneous ethanol injection (PEI), this procedure uses concentrated alcohol to kill cancer cells. Similar to the other ablation techniques, pure alcohol is directly injected into the tumor through the skin using a needle guided by ultrasound or CT scans, or during an open surgical procedure. Side effects after percutaneous alcohol ablation therapy are uncommon, but may include abdominal pain, liver infection and bleeding into the chest cavity or abdomen.