Radiofrequency ablation effective in breast cancer patients
WESTPORT, Oct 20 (Reuters Health) - Intraoperative radiofrequency ablation effectively kills breast tumor cells and deserves further study as a less invasive alternative to surgery, investigators in California report.
Dr. Stefanie S. Jeffrey, of Stanford University School of Medicine in California, and multicenter colleagues examined the safety and efficacy of the technique in five women undergoing surgical resection of locally advanced invasive breast cancer.
Three patients received preoperative chemotherapy, one received both preoperative chemotherapy and radiation therapy, and one received no preoperative treatment.
The investigators performed ablation intraoperatively immediately prior to resection by placing a radiofrequency electrode into the tumor under sonographic guidance, and applying energy at a low power for up to 30 minutes.
"There was evidence of cell death in all patients," Dr. Jeffrey and colleagues write in the October issue of Archives of Surgery. Hematoxylin-eosin staining showed complete cell death in two patients, and enzyme histochemical analysis demonstrated complete cell death in four patients. The zone of ablation extended 0.8 to 1.8 cm around the electrode.
The authors report that no perioperative complications resulted from the procedure. They conclude that percutaneous radiofrequency ablation may be a useful therapeutic tool for breast cancer patients, particularly those with tumors smaller than 3 cm.