Cancer: Radiofrequency Ablation

For tumors that may be inoperable in the liver, lung, kidney, bone, soft tissues, radiofrequency ablation (RFA) can be an option. RFA is an image guided minimally invasive local treatment. The technique uses image guidance to place a needle into the tumor. Radiofrequency energy is applied to the tip of the needle which kills the tumor cells with heat while sparing surrounding tissue. The dead tumor usually shrinks and forms a scar.


RFA is usually performed for palliative purposes, however in a select population, RFA can extend patient’s lives. RFA can improve a patient’s survival time and quality of life. The treatment can be repeated if new tumors appear.