Bone metastases are the most common source of pain for patients with cancer. For pain that is refractory to conventional measures, microwave ablation (MWA) is an emerging alternative therapy. Studies show that MWA is effective in reducing pain and analgesic requirements while improving function. This article describes studies of MWA that include patients with bone metastases to a variety of locations from a range of primary malignancies. Although studies are limited, MWA has proven to be well tolerated with impressive efficacy.
At a Glance
- Microwave ablation (MWA) is a promising option for patients with metastatic disease to bone that is resistant to traditional treatments.
- MWA reduces pain almost immediately in many patients, with relief lasting as long as a year.
- MWA is well tolerated, with the most common complications including increased pain, infections, and postablation syndrome.