Asia Pac J Clin Oncol. 2020 Sep 24. doi: 10.1111/ajco.13419. Online ahead of print.
Although surgical lobectomy with systematic mediastinal lymph node evaluation is considered as the "gold standard" for management of early stage non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), image-guided percutaneous thermal ablation has been increasingly used for medically inoperable patients. Radiofrequency ablation (RFA) is a research-based technique that has the most studies for medically inoperable early-stage NSCLC. Other thermal ablation techniques used to treat pulmonary tumors include microwave
ablation (MWA), cryoablation and laser ablation. MWA has several advantages over RFA including reduced procedural time, reduced heat-sink effect, large ablation zones, decreased susceptibility to tissue impedance, and simultaneous use of multiple antennae. This review article highlights the most relevant updates of MWA for the treatment of early-stage NSCLC, including mechanism of action, clinical outcomes, potential complications, the existing technique problems and future directions.