The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) issued full guidance to the NHS in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland on Microwave ablation for treating primary lung cancer and metastases in the lung, in November 2013.


Lung cancer is one of the most common cancers in the UK. The symptoms often do not appear until the disease is advanced, and the prognosis is generally poor. There are 2 main types of primary lung cancer: small‑cell lung cancer (which is fast growing and can spread quickly) and non‑small‑cell lung cancer (which usually grows and spreads slowly; this includes cancers that grow in squamous cells or in the periphery of the lung). The lung is also a common site for metastases from other primary cancers such as breast and colon cancer.

Treatments for primary lung cancer or metastases in the lung include surgical resection, chemotherapy, radiotherapy, photodynamic therapy, thermal ablation, or a combination of these. If the tumour protrudes into the major airways, interventional bronchoscopic treatments including diathermy, laser therapy, cryotherapy, brachytherapy or photodynamic therapy may be used.

Coding and clinical classification codes for this guidance.

Your responsibility

This guidance represents the view of NICE, arrived at after careful consideration of the evidence available. When exercising their judgement, healthcare professionals are expected to take this guidance fully into account, and specifically any special arrangements relating to the introduction of new interventional procedures. The guidance does not override the individual responsibility of healthcare professionals to make decisions appropriate to the circumstances of the individual patient, in consultation with the patient and/or guardian or carer. 

All problems (adverse events) related to a medicine or medical device used for treatment or in a procedure should be reported to the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency using the Yellow Card Scheme.

Commissioners and/or providers have a responsibility to implement the guidance, in their local context, in light of their duties to have due regard to the need to eliminate unlawful discrimination, advance equality of opportunity, and foster good relations. Nothing in this guidance should be interpreted in a way that would be inconsistent with compliance with those duties. Providers should ensure that governance structures are in place to review, authorise and monitor the introduction of new devices and procedures.

Commissioners and providers have a responsibility to promote an environmentally sustainable health and care system and should assess and reduce the environmental impact of implementing NICE recommendations wherever possible.

  • National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE)