Radiofrequency ablation

Radiofrequency ablation may be used in some patients with NETs who have relatively few secondary tumors (metastases) that have spread to the liver.

During this treatment, a needle is inserted into the center of the tumor with the help of an imaging scan and a current is applied to generate heat that then destroys the tumor. Radiofrequency ablation is a minimally invasive procedure.

You will be given either a local anesthetic or sedative (general) anesthesia before the treatment.

Percutaneous alcohol injection

Percutaneous alcohol injection involves the injection of pure alcohol through the skin, directly into the cancer in the liver. This procedure is also called a percutaneous ethanol injection.

This treatment is performed during an ultrasound scan so that the doctor can see exactly where to inject the alcohol. The alcohol kills the cancer by dehydrating the tissue and stopping its blood supply.

Hepatic chemoembolization

Hepatic chemoembolization and embolization are procedures that are used for the treatment of liver cancers. The chemotherapy is injected into the hepatic (liver) artery that supplies blood to the liver tumor.

When tumor cells come in contact with high doses of chemotherapy, it can weaken the tumor.


Your doctor may offer you a different procedure called radioembolization to treat your liver cancer. It is similar to hepatic chemoembolization, but instead of chemotherapy, it uses radiation to block the blood supply to NET cells in the liver. The process is meant to destroy the blood vessels that the tumor needs to grow, and ultimately kill the cancer cells.

In this procedure, your doctor will inject tiny beads called microspheres into the hepatic (liver) artery that supplies blood to the liver tumor. The radiation from the microspheres damages the blood supply to the tumor and the DNA of the cancer cells, which stops them from growing.



Cryoablation is sometimes used as a treatment for liver cancer. In this procedure, a thin, wand-like needle (cryoprobe) is inserted through the skin and directly into the center of the cancerous tumors. A cooling substance such as liquid nitrogen, liquid nitrous oxide, or argon gas is pumped into the cryoprobe in order to freeze the tissue to damage or destroy it. These tissue cells are then allowed to thaw. Several cryoablation sessions may be necessary to damage or destroy the liver cancer. Cryoablation is also known as percutaneous cryoablation, cryosurgery, or cryotherapy.

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