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New Guidance for Percutaneous Lung Ablation


Position statement supports radiofrequency ablation, cryoablation, and microwave ablation as appropriate image-guided treatment options.

There’s new guidance available for percutaneous lung ablation from the Society of Interventional Radiology (SIR).

In an article published Aug. 1 in the Journal of Vascular and Interventional Radiology, experts shared recommendations for patient selection, treatment, and follow-up, as well as a patient safety quality-improvement guide.

Image-directed percutaneous ablation is widely used to treat various types of lung cancer in minimally invasive ways.

“Minimally invasive, image-guided thermal ablation offers patients with early stage, non-small-cell lung cancer, recurring lung cancer, and metastatic disease a safe and effective treatment option,” said statement author Mark Baerlocher, M.D., SIR’s standards division councilor and interventional radiologist at Royal Victoria Hospital in Ontario. “The two publications provide physicians with guidance [to]...[ensure] high-quality care that improves patients’ lives.”

Creation of the position statement was supported by the Canadian Association for Interventional Radiology, the Cardiovascular and Interventional Radiological Society of Europe, and the Society of Interventional Radiology. The statement itself was drafted by a team of interventional radiologists, oncologists, thoracic surgeons, and radiation oncologists.

Based on a literature review of 63 studies, the new recommendations are grounded in current evidence that points to the appropriateness of radiofrequency ablation, cryoablation, and microwave ablation as image-guided tools that can be used to treat primary and secondary lung cancer. They noted that lesion characteristics and risk mitigation should be used to choose which ablation method to use.

According to SIR President Mathew S. Johnson, M.D., FSIR, Gary J. Becker Professor of Radiology Research at Indiana University School of Medicine, publishing this evidence-based position statement is critical to improving patient outcomes. But, additional comparative studies on thermal ablation use in treating lung cancer will further strengthen guidance in the future.

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