Radiofrequecy ablation is the most widely used local ablative therapy for both primary and metastatic liver tumours. However, it has limited application in the treatment of large tumours (tumours >3cm) and multicentric tumours. In recent years, many strategies have been developed to extend the application of radiofrequency ablation to large tumours. A promising approach is to take advantage of the rapid advancement in imaging and robotic technologies to construct an integrated surgical navigation and medical robotic system. This paper presents a review of existing surgical navigation methods and medical robots. We also introduce our current developed model — Transcutaneous Robot-assisted Ablation-device Insertion Navigation System (TRAINS). The clinical viability of this prototyped integrated navigation and robotic system for large and multicentric tumors is demonstrated using animal experiments
Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is the sixth most common cancer and the liver is the most common site of metastatic disease for intra-abdominal malignancies. Surgical resection of primary and metastatic hepatic tumours remains the gold standard of therapy. However, patients with advanced disease, unfavourable tumour anatomic location, large size or number of lesions, inadequate liver reserve, or severe comorbid conditions will preclude surgery and are not suitable for surgical resection.
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