• Tumour Ablation

    • ‘Ablation’ refers the process of minimally invasive tumour destruction. Unlike surgery, the treated tumour is left in place for the body to deal with naturally. In the same way that the body is able to form a scar after an injury, so too is it able to remove dead tissue after treatment.

    • Technologies

      Different types of energy may be used to ‘ablate’ tumours

      • Heat destruction
        • Radiofrequency ablation (RFA)
        • Microwave ablation (MWA)
        • Laser ablation
        • High intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU)
      • Cold destruction
        • Cryoablation
      • Non-thermal destruction
        • Ethanol injection
        • Irreversible electroporation (IRE)


      Click  here to find an up to date article on cryoablation for small kidney tumours – Total Health.

      How is the decision made as to which type of energy to use?

      The choice of energy used to destroy tumours is dependent upon the size and location of the tumour deposit. Some forms of energy may be better in certain cases. The consultant you see in clinic will be able to discuss these options with you.

      Treatment strategies – Curative vs palliative treatment

      Ablation may be carried out to treat tumours for the purpose of cure (such as small renal tumours) or to treat localized disease in patients in whom cancer has already spread (lung or liver metastases).  In this latter group, there may be several different reasons for treatment, such as small volumes of residual or recurrent disease after completion of chemotherapy when surgery is not possible or not desired.

      Tumour types targeted

      • Liver
      • Lung
      • Kidney
      • Bone
      • Solid tumour deposits

      Please click here to view our patient leaflet on Lung Tumour Ablation.

      Please click here to view our patient leaflet on Kidney Tumour Ablation.

      Please click here to view our patient leaflet on Liver Tumour Ablation.


      LION is unable to treat brain tumours.

      In both liver and lung, treatment is less likely to be undertaken if there are more than five deposits, or if they are over 3cm diameter. However, the decision can only be made after review of the scans and discussion with the patient.

    • Consultants who specialise in this treatment: