How Is Ablation Used to Treat Liver Cancer?

Ablation is a form of cancer treatment that may be appropriate for certain patients with liver cancer. The goal of ablation is to destroy small tumors without having to surgically remove them, as not all patients are healthy enough to undergo major tumor resection surgery. This treatment can usually be performed on an outpatient basis, often with the assistance of ultrasound technology, by inserting a needle or similar instrument through the skin and into the tumor.

Types of ablation therapy

Multiple types of ablation therapy may be used to address liver cancer, including:

  • Radiofrequency ablation – This treatment exposes tumors to high-frequency radio waves to destroy cancer cells.
  • Microwave therapy – During this procedure, cancerous tissue is heated and destroyed using microwaves.
  • Ethanol ablation – Also known as alcohol ablation or percutaneous ethanol injection, this treatment involves injecting concentrated alcohol directly into a tumor.
  • Cryotherapy – This procedure destroys cancer cells by freezing them with a small metal probe.

The best type of ablation therapy for you will depend on several individual factors, such as the extent and specific makeup of your cancer as well as your overall health.

Liver cancer treatment at Moffitt Cancer Center 

Moffitt Cancer Center is a leader in the evaluation and treatment of liver cancer. In our renowned Gastrointestinal Oncology Program, our patients benefit from the expertise of a multispecialty team of physicians, who focus exclusively on liver malignancies and collaborate to develop individualized treatment plans. We utilize a variety of advanced liver cancer treatments, such as percutaneous radioablation, Novalis radiotherapy, immunotherapy and chemoembolization, and we also conduct trailblazing clinical trials. 

If you have been diagnosed with liver cancer and would like to consult with a Moffitt physician about your treatment options, call 1-888-663-3488 or complete a new patient registration form online. A referral is not required to visit Moffitt.