Dr Lau and colleagues reviewed the current status of radiofrequency ablation in the management of hepatocellular carcinoma.
The development of local ablative therapy has been 1 of the major advances in the treatment of hepatocellular carcinoma.
Its role in the management of hepatocellular carcinoma is still rapidly evolving.
The team searched Medline, and PubMed databases for articles from 1997 to 2008 using the keywords ‘radiofrequency ablation‘, ‘hepatocellular carcinoma’ and ‘ablation of hepatocellular carcinoma‘.
Additional papers were identified by a manual search of the references from the key articles.
Randomized controlled trials, nonrandomized comparative studies, cohort studies, were reviewed.
Cohort studies with follow-up of less than 12 months and case reports were excluded.
The researchers analyzed 5 aspects of radiofrequency ablation.
|5 aspects of radiofrequency ablation were analyzed|
|Annals of Surgery|
The first aspect was radiofrequency ablation in comparison with other local ablative therapies, and the second included radiofrequency ablation for unresectable hepatocellular carcinoma.
The third and fourth aspects were radiofrequency ablation as bridging therapy before liver transplantation, or as primary treatment for resectable hepatocellular carcinoma, respectively.
The final aspect was radiofrequency ablation for recurrent hepatocellular carcinoma after partial hepatectomy.
The research team included 10 resectable hepatocellular carcinoma, 8 nonrandomized controlled trials and 26 cohort studies in the analysis.
Dr Lau’s team concluded, “The evidence in the medical literature showed radiofrequency ablation was more effective than other local ablative therapies.”
“Radiofrequency ablation is useful in the treatment of unresectable small hepatocellular carcinoma, recurrent small hepatocellular carcinoma, and as bridging therapy before liver transplantation.”
“In addition, it can be used as a primary treatment in competition with partial hepatectomy for resectable small hepatocellular carcinoma.”