Purpose: To evaluate magnetic resonance (MR) imaging-guided laser-induced thermotherapy (LITT) of liver metastases.
Materials and methods: In a phase II study, 20 patients with 33 metastases from colorectal carcinoma (75%) or other primary tumors (25%) underwent LITT. MR thermometry performed with fast low-angle shot sequences was used to monitor therapy on-line, and dynamic and static contrast material-enhanced MR images enabled estimation of the degree of resultant necrosis. Follow-up studies were performed 3 months after thermotherapy.
Results: The thermosequences enabled accurate on-line monitoring in 85% of lesions. In 69% of lesions 20 mm in diameter or smaller, contrast-enhanced MR images depicted substantial necrosis, with a local tumor control rate of 69% after 6 months and 44% after 12 months. Among lesions larger than 20 mm, necrosis was frequently incomplete, with a local control rate of only 41% after 6 months and 27% after 12 months.
Conclusion: MR imaging-guided LITT of liver metastases is a safe and promising therapy for liver metastases.