October 1st 2005
Although resection currently remains the standard of care for renalcarcinoma, the search for less invasive treatments has led to alternativesurgical approaches. Even less invasive, and appropriate for manygroups of patients, is percutaneous radiofrequency ablation, which inducestumor necrosis via lethal hyperthermia. Multiple series of renaltumors treated with percutaneous ablation in vivo and left in situ havebeen published; these series reveal that for small renal tumors,radiofrequency ablation results in complete necrosis at imaging in 79%to 100% of cases. Because current results come from tumors left in situwith short postablation follow-up, long-term results are necessary tocompare outcomes to surgical standards. Complication rates are lowerthan those following partial nephrectomy. Future reports will shed lighton the long-term outcomes of percutaneous ablation and the relativeadvantages and disadvantages of various technologies for thermal ablation.