With the shift in the treatment of small renal tumors from radical extirpative surgery to nephron-sparing approaches, dry-electrode radiofrequency ablation (RFA) has emerged as one potential modality. This application of RF energy leads to the production of heat within the treatment zone secondary to the native impedance of living tissue. Animal studies and human clinical series have demonstrated that RFA can create controlled, targeted, reproducible, and lethal lesions. Most clinical series have reported promising results, although some authors question the totality of tumor destruction by RFA. With time, the efficacy of RFA, as measured by patient survival, will be determined. Once this is known, RFA may be compared with other therapeutic modalities for small renal tumors to determine its place.
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