Microwave Ablation – Destroying Tumors with Extreme Temperatures

The microwave ablation of soft tissue is the most adopted minimally invasive therapeutic procedure used for dissection, destruction, or elimination of the targeted tissue. These systems have controlled transmission of electromagnetic energy that is directed into the target site or tissue during a medical procedure. It is used for treating tumors and in various fields such as urology, gynecology, orthopedic, and ophthalmology. Ablation procedures involve the use of imaging modalities such as MRI, CT, and ultrasound for detection and treatment of various chronic diseases and medical conditions. The advancement in technologies with improved multi-modal imaging modalities and medical robots has helped surgeons to operate more efficiently and has increased the adoption of these procedures. Also, the ablation techniques have rapidly developed in the areas of research in treating a variety of chronic conditions including radiation, synergy with conventional chemotherapy, immunotherapy and combinatorial ablation, and advancement of new ablation technique in irreversible electroporation.

Key points –

  • The microwave has similar potential and benefits as that of radiofrequency ablation due to its rapid increase in temperature
  • Microwave is a form of thermal ablation with energy spectrum of 300 MHz to 300 GHz used to produce tissue-heating effect
  • Microwave ablation uses electromagnetic energy surrounding the antenna up to 2–3 cm in the absence of current flow, and the electromagnetic field creates a rapid homogeneous heating of tissue and then coagulate necrosis and transmits through insulated coaxial cable
  • Microwave is increasingly used in treating a wide range of categories such as kidney, liver, lung, breast, spine, and bone tumors
  • It allows the similar flexible approach to treat target sites and is performed in three different ways: percutaneous, open surgical, and laparoscopic
  • The microwave ablation devices provide maximum radiation when tuned to the natural frequency of water molecules

Most of the procedures performed today are minimally invasive and have high success rates. Most of the vendors such as AngioDynamics, Inc., Medtronic plc, NeuWave Medical, Inc. (now Johnson & Johnson), MedWaves, Inc., and Perseon are focusing on evidence-based clinical results for the development and advancement of the product. The advances in technology and the growing awareness about ablation technologies are increasing the adoption of ablation devices in the market.

– Mohammed Azhar,
Senior Research Analyst,
Infoholic Research