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BackTable / VI / Podcast / Episode #257

Microwave Ablation for Liver Lesions

with Dr. Josh Kuban

In this episode, Dr. Chris Beck interviews Interventional Radiologist Dr. Josh Kuban about his liver tumor ablation practice at MD Anderson Cancer Center, including how it's evolved over time with newer technologies. They also discuss patient workup for liver tumors, treatment with microwave ablation, and post-procedure follow up. Dr. Kuban shares why he uses microwave ablation technology, and the advantages of ablation confirmation software for these procedures.

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NeuWave Microwave Ablation Systems

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Microwave Ablation for Liver Lesions with Dr. Josh Kuban on the BackTable VI Podcast)
Ep 257 Microwave Ablation for Liver Lesions with Dr. Josh Kuban
00:00 / 01:04

BackTable, LLC (Producer). (2022, October 31). Ep. 257 – Microwave Ablation for Liver Lesions [Audio podcast]. Retrieved from

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Podcast Contributors

Dr. Josh Kuban discusses Microwave Ablation for Liver Lesions on the BackTable 257 Podcast

Dr. Josh Kuban

Dr. Josh Kuban is an interventional radiologoist and associate professor with MD Anderson Cancer Center in Texas.

Dr. Christopher Beck discusses Microwave Ablation for Liver Lesions on the BackTable 257 Podcast

Dr. Christopher Beck

Dr. Chris Beck is a practicing interventional radiologist with Regional Radiology Group in New Orleans.


We begin by discussing how Dr. Kuban started to get involved in interventional oncology and tumor ablation. He started off doing a broad base of vascular procedures. When he came to MD Anderson, he began building close relationships with oncologists which led him to become focused on ablation, primarily of liver and lung lesions.

For liver tumors, Dr. Kuban primarily uses microwave ablation, while in the lung, he does cryoablation. The benefits of microwave ablation are the efficiency of the procedure compared to the time it takes to perform cryoablation. He generally does multiprobe ablations, which allows him to treat the tumor more aggressively from the beginning. He is able to do this confidently by taking advantage of ablation confirmation (AC) software. He always starts with a pre-procedure CT which he uploads to the AC software. He then compares his pre-image to his probe image which helps target the lesion intraoperatively. After ablating, he does another scan that has arterial and venous phases to look for bleeding. The AC software then takes the pre-scan and post-scan and merges them to show the ablation zone. The ablation zone is shown overlaying the tumor margins so he can see whether his ablation zone encompasses the entire tumor, or whether he needs to further ablate.

Lastly, we discuss the impact that AC software has had on Dr. Kuban’s practice. When Dr. Kuban approaches a liver ablation case, his goal is to get the entire tumor in a single procedure, and he believes that he has to be able to see the margins in order to effectively ablate them. The software allows him to see the treatment effect in real time and provide more complete treatment the first time. After using this software, his recurrence rates have been very low, and he is confident that if a recurrence does happen, it is not due to incomplete ablation. He also emphasizes the effects that AC software has had on practice building. Because of this software, he is able to show images of cases to referring providers, which allow him to make a very compelling argument for this treatment modality.


Dr. Josh Kuban is presenting on behalf of Ethicon. The presentation reflects the opinions of the individual presenter, and the steps described may not encompass the complete steps of the procedure. Additionally, other surgeons may prefer different techniques, approaches, etc., as individual surgeon experience in his/her clinical practice, as well as patient needs, may dictate variation in procedure steps. Accordingly, results from any case studies reported in this presentation may not be predictive of results in other cases.

Before using any medical device, review all labeling, including without limitation; the Instructions For Use (IFU), and relevant package inserts with particular attention to indications, contradindications, warnings and precautions, and steps for use of the device(s).

This presentation is not accredited for CE/CME.

Dr. Josh Kuban is compensated by and presenting on behalf of Ethicon and must present information in accordance with applicable regulatory requirements.

The NeuWave™ Ablation System and Accessories are indicated for the ablation (coagulation) of soft tissue in percutaneous, open surgical and in conjunction with laparoscopic surgical settings, including the partial or complete ablation of non-resectable liver tumors. The NeuWave™ Microwave Ablation System and Accessories are not indicated for use in cardiac procedures. The system is designed for facility use and should only be used under the orders of a clinician.

Disclaimer: The Materials available on are for informational and educational purposes only and are not a substitute for the professional judgment of a healthcare professional in diagnosing and treating patients. The opinions expressed by participants of the BackTable Podcast belong solely to the participants, and do not necessarily reflect the views of BackTable.

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