Cardiovascular and Interventional Radiological Society of Europe
OnlineCIRSE Academy coursesInterventional Oncology - online coursesPercutaneous neurolysis in cancer patients (CME) – online course

Percutaneous neurolysis in cancer patients (CME) – online course


Authors: D. Filippiadis and M. Tsitskari

Reviewers: F. Basilico, L. Crocetti, A. Kelekis, L. Monfardini and C. Nice

This course corresponds to chapters Fundamental IO and Non-vascular interventional oncology in the European Curriculum and Syllabus for Interventional Radiology.



Cancer pain is multifactorial and can be associated with ongoing tissue damage (nociceptive type, otherwise called somatic or visceral) or damage/dysfunction in the nervous system (neuropathic type). When a neuropathic component is present, the resulting pain can be more difficult to treat and frequently fails systemic analgesia. Approximately 70% of cancer patients will report pain in any phase of the disease, and the vast majority of these patients are not adequately treated. Percutaneous neurolysis can be either chemical (by means of phenol or alcohol injection) or thermal (using Radiofrequency or cryoablation). In well-selected patients, the application of pulsed radiofrequency aiming for neuromodulation may serve as an alternative. In order to properly select patients and the target of choice, a thorough knowledge of nervous anatomy and pain transmission pathways is a prerequisite, along with imaging guidance and strict sterility measures. In general, percutaneous neurolysis and neuromodulation are safe techniques which necessitate only minor peri-procedural provisions. In cases of cancer pain, refractory to systemic therapies, percutaneous neurolysis and neuromodulation seem to be a feasible and reproducible, efficient and safe treatment for pain palliation.


Learning objectives

  • To learn the indications, advantages and limitations of percutaneous neurolysis
  • To understand the techniques and their image guidance for percutaneous neurolysis and how to optimise results
  • To know the potential complications and how to manage them; how to follow up with the patients and expected outcomes
  • To learn about different targets for cancer pain treatment
  • To learn about literature results
  • To learn about different neurolysis techniques
  • To learn about percutaneous neuromodulation

Further information

This course covers a basic level of IR knowledge and is designed for trainees, students or young consultants aiming to acquire essential knowledge or prepare for the EBIR exam. Thereby, it is tailored to the European Curriculum and Syllabus for Interventional Radiology and corresponds to chapters Fundamental IO and Non-vascular interventional oncology.

The format of the course is easy to use and interactive by including texts, graphics, videos and a quiz to support your learning. The course duration is around one hour and is accredited by the European Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (EACCME) to award 1 European CME credit (ECMEC). The CME accreditation for this course will expire on September 26, 2024. A non-CME accredited version of the course will remain available for two more years.

The acquired CME Certificate will be available in the myCIRSE area under CIRSE Academy.

The enrolment period of this course is linked to the validity of the All-Access Pass.

Release date: September 2022