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Radio Frequency Ablation of Lung Cancer


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We looked into RFA when John was first diagnosed and he was not a candidate. My MIL was going to have it done at a clinic in Alabama but then decided she did not want to pay the cost (her insurance would not cover it) and elected to have radiation only. Several members here have had it with great results.

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Alan's medical oncologist spoke to us about this

proceedure last when when a new 3.0cm mass appeared

in his upper right lung. Thankfully a biopsy came back negative for cancer.

So although Alan did not actually have it done, his

Dr. has spoken to us about RFA as a treatment possiblity.

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Anyone actually have the procedure done?? Living in Hawaii on a island i am kind of strarved for information. We only have one oncologist on the island and he is leaving!!! Not much help there as his expreience is limited.


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Jimbo, This is some info that I have found here on the subject of RFA

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



Howard (Jack) West, MD

Director of Medical Therapeutics,

Thoracic Oncology

Swedish Cancer Institute

Seattle, WA

Founder and Managing Member,

OncTalk, LLC


The views expressed here represent my own opinion

and not those of my employer. They do not constitute

medical advice and should not be considered a substitute

for the direction of your physician.

Aticle #2)

This is relatively new type of treatment but has shown Promising results so far in general in extending A Patients life

Results here

OBJECTIVES: Radiofrequency ablation of lung tumors is an emerging technique with promising results. To achieve more information on its effects on pulmonary parenchyma and primary tumors, and to assess its efficacy in determining complete necrosis of the lesion, we led a pilot study consisting of thermal ablation followed by surgical resection.

METHODS: Ten patients with early stage non–small cell lung cancer were enrolled in the study. In 5 patients radiofrequency ablation was achieved through thoracotomy just before the surgical resection. In another 5 patients radiofrequency ablation was performed percutaneously, under computed tomography guidance, and the surgical resection was performed after 15 days.

RESULTS: Nine of the 10 patients enrolled in the study were available for analysis. There were 8 men and 1 woman with a mean age of 65.5 years. In all cases histologic diagnosis was available before radiofrequency ablation; adenocarcinoma was identified in 5 patients, and squamous cell carcinoma was identified in 4 patients. Microscopic examination showed complete necrosis of the tumor in 6 of 9 cases. No anatomopathologic alterations were seen in surrounding distant parenchyma.

CONCLUSIONS: Our study confirms the safety of radiofrequency ablation, particularly underlining the possibility of performing a thermal lesion in the lung in a controlled manner. It also assesses that radiofrequency ablation may be effective in the local control of primary lung cancer. However, surgery still represents the mainstay of treatment of non–small cell lung cancer, and radiofrequency ablation must be reserved for high-risk patients.

More info Linked here, Click on link



thisd is best I can do for now. Hope this helps a little

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