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Treatment Gives Lung Cancer Patients With Inoperable Tumors Two Years or More
Date:3/17/2008

Interventional Radiologists' Outpatient Procedure Uses Heat to Destroy Lung Tumors

WASHINGTON, March 17 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Radiofrequency ablation (RFA) -- an interventional treatment that "cooks" and kills lung cancer tumors with heat -- greatly improves survival time from primary or metastatic inoperable lung tumors, according to a study released today at the Society of Interventional Radiology's 33rd Annual Scientific Meeting. Of the 244 patients suffering from lung metastases (195 patients) or primary non-small cell lung cancer (49 patients), 70 percent were still alive at two years, including 72 percent for lung metastases and 64 percent for primary lung cancer. These survival results are similar to surgical results from other studies, but the interventional treatment is less invasive and has far fewer side effects and less recovery time. The researchers found that RFA often can completely destroy the primary tumor and, therefore, extend a patient's survival and greatly improve his or her quality of life. Survival thus becomes dependent on the extent of disease elsewhere in the body.

Of the 49 patients (ages 27-85) with non-small cell primary lung cancer who were treated with RFA, 85 percent had no viable lung tumors after one year on imaging, and 77 percent had no viable lung tumors after two years, which indicates a cure. This study was conducted in tumors four centimeters in diameter or smaller, and even better results were obtained for tumors smaller than two centimeters.

"About two-thirds of patients diagnosed with non-small cell lung cancer are ineligible for surgery and typically have less than 12 months to live. A subset of these patients ineligible for surgery can be treated with RFA with the intention of curing the primary tumor. Thus, 70 percent of my patients gained at least another two years. This new outpatient treatment is effective, allowing us to treat patients who historically have only palliative opti
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SOURCE Society of Interventional Radiology
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