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Radiofrequency Ablation Promising Against Lung Cancer


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By David Douglas

NEW YORK DEC 15, 2005 (Reuters Health) - According to results of pilot studies, radiofrequency ablation (RFA) is helpful in treatment of primary non-small cell lung cancer, report Pennsylvania-based researchers.

"RFA promises to be a useful local treatment for smaller lung tumors in addition to our current triad of surgery, radiation therapy and chemotherapy," investigator Dr. Walter J Scott told Reuters Health.

In the November issue of Chest, Dr. Scott and colleagues at the Fox Chase Cancer Center, Philadelphia note that they came to this conclusion following a study of 8 patients with NSCLC.

All had stage I or II disease and RFA of the tumor was performed via standard thoracotomy. This was followed by conventional lobectomy and lymph node dissection.

Histological processing of the treated tissue areas by means of NADH staining showed that altogether 7 of the 8 tumors demonstrated greater than 80% nonviability. This reached 100% in the treated area of 3 of the smaller tumors (less than 2 cm).

The researchers conclude that the approach is feasible and can be safely performed along with thoracotomy.

"However," added Dr. Scott, "we need further information from carefully designed and monitored clinical trials before we can recommend that patients seek this out as an alternative to the gold standard of complete surgical resection."


Chest 2005;128:3507-3511.

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