Published online Apr 27, 2010. doi: 10.4240/wjgs.v2.i4.128
Revised: January 13, 2010
Accepted: January 20, 2010
Published online: April 27, 2010
Loco-regional treatments for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) are important alternatives to curative transplantation or resection. Among them, radiofrequency ablation (RFA) is accepted as the most popular technique showing excellent local tumor control and acceptable morbidity. The current role of RFA is well documented in the evidence-based practice guidelines of European Association of Study of Liver, American Association of Study of the Liver Disease and Japanese academic societies. Several randomized controlled trials have confirmed that RFA is superior to percutaneous ethanol injections in terms of local tumor control and survival. The overall survival after RFA is comparable to after surgical resection in a selected group of patients with smaller (< 3 cm) tumors. Currently, the clinical benefits of combined RFA with transarterial chemoembolization for intermediate stage HCC are increasingly being explored. Here we review the ongoing technical advancements of RFA and future potential.