NICE has been notified about this procedure and it is part of its work programme. The Interventional Procedures Advisory Committee (IPAC) will consider this procedure and NICE will issue an interventional procedures consultation document about its safety and efficacy for 4 weeks’ public consultation. IPAC will then review the consultation document in the light of comments received and produce a final interventional procedures document, which will be considered by NICE before guidance is issued to the NHS in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
Status In progress
Technology type Procedure
Decision Selected
Process IP
ID number 1783
Description Radiofrequency ablation is an image guided minimally invasive procedure for palliative treatment of spinal metastases. The procedure is done in an outpatient setting using a transpedicular or parapedicular approach under general anesthesia or conscious sedation. The approach is either percutaneous, endoscopic or surgical. Under image guidance (fluoroscopy, ultrasound, CT or MRI) a needle electrode is manually guided through the pedicle to gain access into the vertebral body. The metastases in the vertebral body is accessed using a working cannula. A radiofrequency (RF) probe (that can be navigated within the vertebral body) is inserted to accurately target spine tumors. Once the tumor is accessed, the RF probe is attached to a radiofrequency generator and using high frequency alternative current pulses the malignant tumor tissue is heated and destroyed. This creates a cavity in the vertebral body and to prevent any risk of fractures in some weight bearing vertebrae, additional preventive treatment with vertebroplasty can also be performed. RF ablation is not suggested if the spinal metastases are nearby neurological structures because of the risk of neurological injury.

Provisional Schedule

IPAC 1 08 September 2022
Interventional procedure consultation 14 October 2022 - 11 November 2022
IPAC 2 12 January 2023
Expected publication 29 March 2023

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For further information on how we develop interventional procedures guidance, please see our IP manual