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Updates on Current Role and Practice of Lung Ablation

Abtin, Fereidoun MD*; De Baere, Thierry MD; Dupuy, Damian E. MD; Genshaft, Scott MD*; Healey, Terrance MD; Khan, Sarah MD*; Suh, Robert MD*

doi: 10.1097/RTI.0000000000000417
Symposium: Imaging of Innovative and Contemporary Thoracic Interventions: State-of-the-Art

Interventional oncology and management of thoracic malignancies with ablative techniques are becoming ever more recognized therapeutic options. With increased understanding, development, and utility of the ablative techniques, the indications are expanding and efficacy improving. Lung cancer was among the first indications for lung ablation and remains most challenging with multiple therapeutic options. For inoperable patients, the current literature demonstrates equivalent survivals between ablation, sublobar resection, and stereotactic body radiation. Oligometastatic disease remains the most common indication for lung ablation and is gaining acceptance among the oncology community, as lung ablation provides limited patient downtime, repeatability, and minimal to no loss of respiratory function. Other indications for ablation are being explored, including recurrent mesothelioma, drop metastasis from thymoma, and limited pleural metastasis, with excellent local control of tumor and limited complications. Follow-up after ablation is essential to detect early complications, observe the natural evolution of the ablation zone, and detect recurrence. Standardized imaging follow-up allows for these goals to be achieved and provides a framework for oncology practice. In this article, the role of ablation in the management of thoracic neoplasms and postablation imaging features are reviewed. The radiologists, in particular, thoracic radiologists should be able to identify candidates who can benefit from ablation familiarize themselves with postablation imaging features, and recognize the evolution of the postablation zone and hence detect early recurrence.

*Department of Radiology, Division of Thoracic Imaging and Interventional Services, UCLA Medical Center, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, Los Angeles, CA

Imagerie thérapeutique, Département d’imagerie, Gustave Roussy Cancer Center, Villejuif, & UFR Médicine Le Kremlin-Bicêtre, Université Paris-Sud XI, France

Department of Diagnostic Imaging, Rhode Island Hospital, The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University, Providence, RI

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Correspondence to: Fereidoun Abtin, MD, University of California Los Angeles David Geffen School of Medicine, Los Angeles, CA 90404 (e-mail:

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