Radiofrequency-induced or laser-induced thermoablation/thermotherapy involves introducing a needle electrode into the neuroendocrine liver metastasis. Placing the probe is monitored through ultrasound or CT. The electrode emits radiofrequency waves or laser light in order to heat up the tumor tissue. Neuroendocrine tumor metastases of up to 3-5 cm in diameter can literally be "boiled" and thus destroyed. One or two treatment sessions are usually needed and are performed under short-term anesthesia. The treatment is generally well-tolerated. .
The application of RITA or LITT does not conflict with or exclude other methods of therapy. On the contrary, transarterial chemoembolization as well as RITA are usually combined with drug treatment such as a long-acting somatostatin analog. The smaller the number and size of any remaining liver metastases, the more effective the somatostatin analog octreotide is in inhibiting tumor growth.

Figure 11:
Radiofrequency-induced thermoablation of neuroendocrine liver metastases: the needle electrode bundles high-frequency electricity (375–500 kHz), creates local temperatures of 50-120° C and "boils" the tumor tissue.

figure 11

Modified according to Steinberg & Scherübl, Patient Brochure Falkfoundation 2008

Prof. Dr. med. Hans Scherübl


Center of Neuroendocrine Tumors
Prof. Dr. med. Hans Scherübl
Vivantes Klinikum Am Urban
Academic Teaching Hospital of Charité-University Medicine, Berlin
Dieffenbachstraße 1
10967 Berlin, Germany
Tel: + 49 30 130 225201
Fax: + 49 30 130 225205
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