The decision to proceed with tumour ablation should be taken within the context of a multidisciplinary team comprising of the following cancer experts:
- The treating clinican,
- The surgeon and
- The oncologist
Although the treating clinician is often a Radiologist, this field of image guided direct tumour treatment has been termed ‘Interventional Oncology’.
Tumour ablation normally requires the skills of a Radiologist who has the necessary expertise to interpret the imaging scans in real time, and who is also trained in tumour ablative techniques. Radiologists who also treat patients using image guided methods are called Interventional Oncologists.
Interventional Oncologists are increasingly becoming the cancer experts of choice, especially for cancer such as kidney tumours. As Dr Rowland Illing describes in his article, tumour ablation is suitable in kidney cancer cases where:
- The patient does not wish to undergo surgery
- · The patient is deemed unfit / high risk for surgery
- · There is a solitary kidney or poor renal function
- · There are bilateral tumours or a genetic predisposition to multiple tumours
- · Tumour position would necessitate a radical nephrectomy, but ablation would be technically feasible
Dr Illing says, "Treatment is carried out in a CT scanner within an operating theatre. Tumours up to 4cm may be treated, as long as they do not lie immediately next to important structures within the middle of the kidney."