There is an enormous sense of excitement in the communities of cancer research and cancer care as we move into the middle third of the ?rst decade of the 21st century. For the ?rst time,there is a true sense of c- ?dence that the tools provided by the human genome project will enable cancer researchers to crack the code of genomic abnormalities that allow tumor cells to live within the body and provide highly speci?c, virtually non-toxic therapies for the eradication,or at least ?rm control of human cancers. There is also good reason to hope that these same lines of inquiry will yield better tests for screening, early detection, and prev- tion of progression beyond curability. While these developments provide a legitimate basis for much op- mism, many patients will continue to develop cancers and suffer from their debilitating effects, even as research moves ahead. For these in- viduals, it is imperative that the cancer ?eld make the best possible use of the tools available to provide present day cancer patients with the best chances for cure, effective palliation, or, at the very least, relief from symptoms caused by acute intercurrent complications of cancer. A modality that has emerged as a very useful approach to at least some of these goals is tumor ablation by the use of physical or physiochemical approaches.
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