Minimally invasive treatment of malignant hepatic tumors: at the threshold of a major breakthrough

Radiographics. Jan-Feb 2000;20(1):9-27. doi: 10.1148/radiographics.20.1.g00ja019.


Six existing minimally invasive techniques for the treatment of primary and secondary malignant hepatic tumors--radio-frequency ablation, microwave ablation, laser ablation, cryoablation, ethanol ablation, and chemoembolization--are reviewed and debated by noted authorities from six institutions from around the world. All of the authors currently believe that surgery remains the treatment of choice for patients with resectable hepatic tumors. However, the clinical results of each of the minimally invasive techniques presented have exceeded those obtained with conventional chemotherapy or radiation therapy. Thus, for nonsurgical patients, these techniques are becoming standard independent or adjuvant therapies. In addition, with continued improvement in technology and increasing clinical experience, one or more of these minimally invasive techniques may soon challenge surgical resection as the treatment of choice for patients with limited hepatic tumor.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antineoplastic Agents / administration & dosage
  • Chemoembolization, Therapeutic*
  • Cryosurgery
  • Diathermy
  • Electrocoagulation
  • Humans
  • Laser Coagulation
  • Liver Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Liver Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Microwaves / therapeutic use
  • Minimally Invasive Surgical Procedures / methods*
  • Patient Selection
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed


  • Antineoplastic Agents