Image-guided ablation (IGA) techniques have evolved considerably over the past 20 years and are increasingly used to definitively treat small primary cancers of the liver and kidney. IGA is recommended by most guidelines as the best therapeutic choice for patients with early stage hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC)-defined as either a single tumour smaller than 5 cm or up to three nodules smaller than 3 cm-when surgical options are precluded, and has potential as first-line therapy, in lieu of surgery, for patients with very early stage tumours smaller than 2 cm. With regard to renal cell carcinoma, despite the absence of any randomized trial comparing the outcomes of IGA with those of standard partial nephrectomy, a growing amount of data demonstrate robust oncological outcomes for this minimally invasive approach and testify to its potential as a standard-of-care treatment. Herein, we review the various ablation techniques, the supporting evidence, and clinical application of IGA in the treatment of primary liver and kidney cancers.
ASJC Scopus subject areas