RF ablation of metastic bone tumors has significantly improved pain caused by these lesions. RF ablation of metastatic bone lesions is considered a palliative therapy. In some cases RF ablation can destroy local tumor present in the bone.
RF ablation can be used for the treatment of primary and metastatic lung cancer. RF ablation has a much lower morbidity that surgery. Patients who have multiple lesions or lesions in both lungs are usually not considered for surgery. These patients are ideal for RF ablation. RF ablation of tumors can preserve more lung function than surgery. This is very important for patients with diminished lung capacity (such as current or previous smokers). In some cases the entire tumor can be ablated so that the patient is potentially free of disease. In other cases a significant reduction in tumor volume is achieved, which allows chemotherapy to be move effective. RF ablation and chemotherapy have added benefits when used in conjunction with each other. Chemotherapy makes the tumor cells more sensitive to heat, which makes ablation more successful. RF ablation is very useful in destroying the central portion of tumors. It is this area of tumors that does not respond well to chemotherapy because of decreased blood flow.
RF ablation of liver cancer is indicated by the FDA. There has been great success in treating liver tumors of all types with RF energy. RF ablation is becoming more accepted than surgery in many cases. This is due to the low complication of RF ablation. RF ablation has the advantage of being able to treat multiple lesions, on either or both sides of the liver. Lesions that are non resectable by surgery can be treated successfully with RF ablation.
Metastatic lesions to the adrenal glands can be ablated using RF energy. Benign hyperfunctioning lesions such as an aldosternoma can also be treated.
Solid renal masses in patients with a single kidney can be ablated. Patients with both kidneys are generally treated with surgical removal of the affected kidney. Patient with lesions in both kidneys or who cannot tolerate surgery are candidates for RF ablation.
Currently there is investigation into treating thyroid, breast, pelvic, head and neck cancers with RF ablation. At our institution we consider treating these lesions in certain special cases.
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