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Thermal ablation


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I have never heard this done on lung cancer patience, but maybe you should ask our Dr. West here on the board, or check out his website.

Why do they not want to do surgery on your mom? Could you please share a little more information with us on your mom's situation? The more information we have the more help we can give.

Best Wishes,

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I guess in some ways we ahead of ourselves...We are hoping the PET Scan will show that the cancer has not spread and there is only the one tumor. Everything we've read says the choice of treatment is generally surgery and radaition. She had polio as a child and due to curverature of spine her left lung is pretty compromised, as well as being rather frail due to the effects of the polio. She has a herrington rod running down her spine. The tumor is located in lower right lobe. We have PET Scan next Tuesday and lung function tests as well as meeting with Pulumoary Dr. and then specailist on Friday. I have read that the Thermal ablation and radiotherapy afterwards has been used in Lung Cancer with awesome results. It is basically using a hot needle to destroy the cancer. They have used it in China with great sucess and we now have people using it on different cancers. Just thought maybe someone would have information 1st hand how it works and where to go for information.

Thanks for your reply

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I can mot offer anything personally except research. Try this Link. Just click on it and be redirected to the link.

1) http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&rls= ... tnG=Search

where as I do not know wher in Midwest you are exactly this is best I can do for now. Post here if I can be of any assistance for now. I am Moderator for clinical trials and have heard of this but am not aware of anyone using it here. feel free to leave Meesage here if I can be of more assistance.

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Try KU MEd


I think what you are referring to is RFA (radio frequency ablation)

It basically burns the tumor with radio energy.

It might be hard to find someone since RFA is not used too often on lungs except as you said for people with compromised lung function.

Other options are things like wedge resections

Here is a list of NCI designated centers


Good luck. Hope it is early stage

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My MIL looked into RFA and she was told she would be a candidate (she had one tumor in the lower lobe). She was going to go to the clinic in Gulf Shores, AL. When she found out her insurance would not cover it she elected to have radiation to the tumor. There are a few members here that have had RFA and the insurance has paid the cost. Good luck with it.

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Thank for all the kind words and information. We did talk to a place in Rhode Island and they said they did more of the thermal ablation and follow up with radation then any other place in the US. We are in the Kansas City area. Here is the web site of the place in RI. Surgery seems to be the gold standard for treatment but if not this might be a option...

Thank you again for your help and support!!!

http://www.lifespan.org/news/2006/07/17 ... -patients/

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You could also consider cyberknife. I think it is less intrusive than RFA. I also think Dr. West knows about RFA. As I recall, he told me once that RFA can affect tissue behind the tumor, damaging it. Cyberknife affects the tumor only.

Here is a link to Dr. West's site:


Here is a link to a cyberknife site where you can talk to radiation oncologists.


Here is a link to the manufacturer of the cyberknife system. the website includes a site locater for cyberknife centers. It shows one to be in St Louis and another in Springfield.


Don M

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The issue of what is best for patients who are too elderly and/or frail for standard surgery for early stage lung cancer is a big one. I need to do a post or two on the subject at OncTalk.com in the next few weeks.

The most typical approach to this situation has been radiation. Cyberknife or IMRT (Intensity-Modulated Radiation Therapy) or some other radiation-based approach would all be considerations, all designed to aggressively destroy the cancer while minimizing damage to surrounding tissue, in order to achieve as minimal side effects as possible. It would be worth discussing the pros and cons of various options with a good radiation oncologist at a center that has a range of radiation options available.

Radiofrequency ablation, or RFA, is a technique that is better established in the setting of destroying an isolated liver lesion or two in colon cancer, or a primary liver cancer, but not really well established and studied in lung cancer. Aside from Rhode Island, I believe the Univ. of Pittsburgh Medical Center has experience with RFA and may be able to comment on whether it's a good option. I happen to have an RFA expert at my own institution (there aren't many), but we've rarely had a lung case that was felt to be suitable for the technique. I've referred 3-4 cases to him over the years, but he didn't think it was the right choice for them.

Otherwise, there are several very good centers for a range of lung cancer care options. Washington Univ in St Louis, Univ. of Chicago, Cleveland Clinic, Wayne State in Detroit, and Univ. of Pittsburgh are just a partial list of some of the great places in the midwest for cancer care.

-Jack West

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