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Liver cancer in cirrhotic patients effectively treated with radiofrequency ablation
Date:12/16/2010

Researchers from Italy determined that radiofrequency ablation (RFA) is a safe and effective therapy for managing hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) in cirrhotic patients. The high repeatability of RFA is advantageous in controlling recurrences of cancerous tumors in the liver. Results of this 10-year retrospective study are available in the January 2011 issue of Hepatology, a journal published by Wiley-Blackwell on behalf of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD).

HCC is the third leading cause of death from cancer worldwide and according to the National Cancer Institute approximately 19,000 deaths due to liver and intrahepatic bile duct cancer occurred in the U.S. in 2010. Studies have shown that many patients with liver cancer also have underlying cirrhosis (scarring of the liver), which complicates cancer management and is often a direct cause of death. Current guidelines recommend surgical resection for early-stage HCC in patients who have adequate liver function and chemical or thermal tumor ablation in cases where surgery is not possible.

In order to evaluate the effectiveness of RFA in managing the initial HCC nodule and recurrences and its impact on survival, a research team led by Sandro Rossi, M.D., from the Policlinico San Matteo Foundation in Pavia, Italy conducted a retrospective study of 706 patients presenting with HCC from January 1998 through January 2008. Percutaneous or laparoscopic RFA was performed, producing one to three thermal lesions with each insertion. Major complications that threatened a patient's life, produced morbidity, or prolonged the hospital stay were assessed with abdominal ultrasound (3 and 24 hours post RFA), complete blood counts, lactic dehydrogenase, aminotransferase level, and Child-Pugh-related tests.

Researchers classified results as either complete responses (CRs)no enhancing tissue at the tumor site and normalization of alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) levels; or i
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Contact: Dawn Peters
healthnews@wiley.com
781-388-8408
Wiley-Blackwell
Source:Eurekalert

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