While clinical data supporting the effectiveness of tumor ablation is growing, educational opportunities for physicians who want to learn new techniques or get tips on developing a tumor ablation practice lag behind. Some training is available through CME courses, industry society events, vendor education, and informal arrangements with luminaries, but large-scale, organized training regimens do not yet exist.
The rapidly expanding field of tumor ablation now includes a variety of heat-based ablation modalities using laser, microwave, radiofrequency, and ultrasound energy sources. Among these, RF ablation has found the greatest clinical utility worldwide.
Creating a successful tumor ablation practice demands that physicians change the way they approach both cancer care and the practice of radiology.
Clear, effective imaging is vital to tumor ablation, but consensus on which imaging method to use when has been elusive. No imaging modality on its own is perfect, and what may work well in one situation will be ineffective in another.
Technology and procedures for tumor ablation continue to evolve. Experts are evaluating new techniques for protecting organs, reducing pain, and avoiding complications.
Journal articles this month compare different methods for treating kidney tumors, review new minimally invasive treatments for prostate lesions, and explain new techniques.
Journal articles this month include a look at RFA for prostate cancer, factors that influence thermal lesion sizes, and the incidence of postablation syndrome.
A special Interventional Oncology Symposium held at the RSNA meeting in December confirmed tumor ablation’s status as an accepted and growing therapy. The symposium, cosponsored by the RSNA and the Society of Interventional Radiology Foundation, drew standing room-only crowds to presentations about ablation and embolization methods, new technologies, and the basic science behind interventional oncology.
Journal articles this month review complications and side effects brought on by radiofrequency ablation and other tumor ablation techniques and profile new technologies for tumor ablation procedures.
Dr. Francis Facchini, an attending radiologist at Decatur Memorial Hospital and an assistant professor at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine, is one of three dedicated interventional radiologists performing radiofrequency ablation and other tumor ablation procedures in the hospital’s cancer practice. He spoke to Diagnostic Imaging’s Tumor Ablation Clinic about the practical aspects of incorporating RFA into a cancer practice and what role he expects the technology to play in the future.