Radiofrequency ablation in primary non-small cell lung cancer: What a radiologist needs to know

Shivank Bhatia, Keith Pereira, Prasoon Mohan, Govindarajan Narayanan, Medhi Wangpaichitr, Niramol Savaraj

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Lung cancer continues to be one of the leading causes of death worldwide. In advanced cases of lung cancer, a multimodality approach is often applied, however with poor local control rates. In early non.small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), surgery is the standard of care. Only 15.30% of patients are eligible for surgical resection. Improvements in imaging and treatment delivery systems have provided new tools to better target these tumors. Stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT) has evolved as the next best option. The role of radiofrequency ablation (RFA) is also growing. Currently, it is a third.line option in stage 1 NSCLC, when SBRT cannot be performed. More recent studies have demonstrated usefulness in recurrent tumors and some authors have also suggested combination of RFA with other modalities in larger tumors. Following the National Lung Screening Trial (NLST), screening by low.dose computed tomography (CT) has demonstrated high rates of early.stage lung cancer detection in high.risk populations. Hence, even considering the current role of RFA as a third.line option, in view of increasing numbers of occurrences detected, the number of potential RFA candidates may see a steep uptrend. In view of all this, it is imperative that interventional radiologists be familiar with the techniques of lung ablation. The aim of this article is to discuss the procedural technique of RFA in the lung and review the current evidence regarding RFA for NSCLC.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)81-91
Number of pages11
JournalIndian Journal of Radiology and Imaging
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2016


  • Non-small cell lung cancer
  • radiofrequency ablation
  • stereotactic body radiation therapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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