Radiofrequency ablation of liver metastases from colorectal carcinoma

Cancer Control. 2006 Jan;13(1):48-51. doi: 10.1177/107327480601300107.


Background: Most patients with colorectal carcinoma will develop liver metastases. Radiofrequency ablation (RFA) has been utilized in metastatic CRC to help improve the survival gap between resectable and unresectable tumor.

Methods: The current use of RFA in selected patient populations is reviewed.

Results: RFA provides a survival benefit in patients with unresectable hepatic metastases from CRC compared with chemotherapy alone. It offers effective local tumor destruction in appropriately selected lesions and minimizes the morbidity and mortality of an open resection. Common complications are abdominal bleeding (1.6%), abdominal infection (1.1%), and injury to the biliary tree (1.0%). Mortality ranges from 0% to 0.5%.

Conclusions: Trials are underway to compare chemotherapy plus local ablation to chemotherapy alone. RFA is a tool that should be utilized by experienced individuals to achieve optimal oncologic outcomes.

MeSH terms

  • Catheter Ablation* / adverse effects
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Humans
  • Liver Neoplasms / secondary*
  • Liver Neoplasms / surgery*
  • Treatment Outcome