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Radiofrequency Ablation Found Therapeutic for Lung Cancer

-- Eric Metcalf

Monday, January 4, 2010

MONDAY, Jan. 4 (HealthDay News) -- Radiofrequency (RF) ablation appears to be a viable option for patients with primary non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) who aren't candidates for surgical treatment, according to research published in the January issue of Radiology.

Michael D. Beland, M.D., of Brown University in Providence, R.I., and colleagues analyzed data from 79 patients with primary NSCLC who underwent RF ablation during a 10-year period. Patients had either refused surgery or were not considered to be candidates for surgery.

The researchers found that 43 percent of patients had recurrence at an average of 14 months. Recurrence was local (at or within the margin of ablation) in 38 percent of these patients, intrapulmonary (within the same lobe) in 18 percent, nodal in 18 percent, and distant metastases in 21 percent. Larger tumor size and cancer stage were associated with risk of recurrence, but patient sex, tumor location, and concomitant external beam radiation or brachytherapy were not.

"The most common pattern of recurrence was local, which suggests that more aggressive initial RF ablation and adjuvant radiation may offer improvement in outcomes." the authors conclude. "However, the majority of recurrences occurred outside of the ablated tumor, and this was a limitation of the technology. Improvements in noninvasive preprocedural staging may appropriately triage these patients to alternative therapies."

A co-author is a consultant for Covidien, which made equipment used for the tumor ablation.

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Specialties Cardiology
Diabetes & Endocrinology
Internal Medicine
Family Practice

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