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C. New Hope For Patients With Liver Cancer

Narrator: This is Science Today. A new, less invasive way to remove liver tumors has been developed at the University of California Davis Medical Center. Dr. John McGahan, a radiology expert, says the technique is called radio frequency liver ablation, which essentially means a tumor is removed by direct heat.

McGahan: We place a needle through the skin into the liver tumor. We watch under ultrasound guidance then we can apply heat, and we're able to selectively kill the tumor cells. We pull the needle out and by the next day, usually the patient is allowed to go home.

Narrator: A team of doctors must first determine if this technique is right for each patient. If it is, McGahan says there's reason for enthusiasm.

McGahan: It is a less invasive technique, requires less hospitalization and so it really leads to decreased costs and if in fact we find this to be as good as some of the other techniques, this will be a real advancement in treating of some forms of liver tumors.

Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.