The Role of Ablation in Cancer Pain Relief

Dimitrios K. Filippiadis, Steven Yevich, Frederic Deschamps, Jack W. Jennings, Sean Tutton, Alexis Kelekis

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Purpose of Review: The purpose of this article is to describe the concepts of ablation techniques for pain relief in symptomatic oncologic patients. Controversies concerning techniques and products will be addressed. Recent Findings: Despite conventional pain palliative techniques, cancer patients often endorse unresolved somatic and neuropathic pain that can present as a great burden to quality of life. In non-operative patients, several techniques have been applied to minimize opioid dependence. While radiotherapy is often considered as a non-invasive option, percutaneous ablation has been advanced as a minimally-invasive alternative with clear procedural and outcome advantages. Similar to radiation therapy, percutaneous ablation techniques can act either upon nerve structures responsible for pain mediation signals (neurolysis) or directly upon the tumor to relieve tumor-mediated inflammation and decompress tumor compression of adjacent structures. Summary: Percutaneous ablation provides valuable neurolysis and tumor-directed pain palliative effects to be incorporated into clinical guidelines for pain reduction in oncologic patients. Selection among different ablation techniques should be based upon an individually tailored approach, to include consideration of all treatment modalities.

Original languageEnglish
Article number105
JournalCurrent oncology reports
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1 2019


  • Ablation
  • Neurolysis
  • Oncology
  • Pain


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