This site has been initiated and developed by Ipsen Ltd.
This site has been initiated and developed by Ipsen Ltd.

Radiofrequency ablation

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

During this treatment, a needle is inserted into the centre of the tumour with the help of an imaging scan and a medium current is applied to generate heat that then destroys the tumour.

Radiofrequency ablation is a minimally invasive procedure.

You will be given either a local anaesthetic or sedative (general) anaesthesia 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 chemoembolisation

Hepatic chemoembolisation and embolisation 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 tumour.

High doses of chemotherapy in contact with the tumour cells devitalises the tumour.


Your doctor may offer you a different procedure called radioembolisation to treat your liver cancer. It is similar to hepatic chemoembolisation but instead of chemotherapy it uses radiation to block the blood supply to NET cells in the liver. This process stops the tumour from releasing its hormones into the blood system.

In this procedure, your doctor will inject tiny beads called microspheres into the hepatic (liver) artery that supplies blood to the liver tumour. The radiation from the microspheres damages the blood supply to the tumour 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 centre of the cancerous tumours. A 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.

Rate this content

No votes yet.
Please wait...

Find out more about NETs

FAQs by experts


Have a question about NETs? See if it has been answered by one of our experts

View FAQs

NET patient support groups

NETs Patient Support Groups

Patient support groups for NETs can often provide social and emotional support

Find Patient Support Groups

Find support services in your area

Find a NETs Clinic

View a list of specialist NETs clinics and NETs hospital units in Europe

Find a NETs Clinic

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. Click here for more information.
This site is intended for a UK audience only. SOM-UK-003737 September 2018