Published online Jun 15, 2002. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v8.i3.393
Revised: May 14, 2002
Accepted: May 18, 2002
Published online: June 15, 2002
Primary and secondary malignant liver cancers are some of most common malignant tumors in the world. Chemotherapy and radiotherapy are not very effective against them. Surgical resection has been considered the only potentially curtive option, but the majority of patients are not candidates for resection because of tumor size, location near major intrahepatic blood vessels and bile ducts, precluding a margin-negative resection, cirrhotic, hepatitis virus infection or multifocial. Radiofrequence ablation (RFA), which is a new evolving effective and minimally invasive technique, can produce coagulative necrosis of malignant tumors. RFA should be used percutaneously, laparscopically, or during the open laparotomy under the guidance of ultrasound, CT scan and MRI. RFA has lots of advantages superior to other local therapies including lower complications, reduced costs and hospital stays, and the possibility of repeated treatment. In general, RFA is a safe, effective treatment for unresectable malignant liver tumors less than 7.0 cm in diameter. We review the principle, mechanism, procedures and experience with RFA for treating malignant liver tumors.