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Heat kills lung cancer and increases survival

Lung cancer Non small cell Cancer  

Heat kills lung cancer and increases survival : Information from MedicineWorld.Org
Heat kills lung cancer and increases survival
  April 2, 2005. As per the results of a recent multi-center prospective study presented at the Society of Interventional Radiology's 30th Annual Scientific Meeting showed that heat is effective in killing lung cancer cells and improving survival. The study showed 91 percent cancer-specific survival at 2 years with this treatment. The researchers used radiofrequency ablation (RFA) technique to successfully to kill the tumor inside the body without surgery in 93 percent of the cases. The procedure involves insertion of a small, energy-delivering probe through the skin directly into the tumor using imaging techniques like a CT scan. Heat is delivered through the probe to destroy the tumor cells without significant side effects or damage to nearby normal tissue.

" This research shows that CT-guided radiofrequency ablation effectively destroys cancer cells inside the lung without surgery,” says Interventional Radiologist Riccardo Lencioni, M.D., University of Pisa, Italy. He added, “For patients with primary lung cancer or lung metastases from colorectal cancer who are not surgical candidates, this research also shows that the interventional radiofrequency ablation treatment can improve patients’ survival without worsening their quality of life. "

Most cases of symptomatic lung cancer are diagnosed at a stage when the disease is no longer curable. These patients often have other serious medical conditions, which makes surgery or chemotherapy a very difficult choice. This study has shown that for these patients, minimally invasive interventional radiology procedures can improve survival, reduce pain, and improve quality of life. Interventional radiologists are specialized in such procedures and are uniquely skilled in using imaging guidance to deliver targeted cancer treatments throughout the body non-surgically. Radiofrequency ablation (RFA) is a safe, minimally invasive tool for local pulmonary tumor control with negligible mortality, little morbidity, a short hospital stay, and positive gain in quality of life. This treatment can also be repeated if necessary or combined with other treatment options.

Radio frequency ablation (RFA) offers a non-surgical, localized treatment that kills the tumor cells with heat, while sparing nearby healthy lung tissue. The fact that heat kills cancer cells is known for long time, and this treatment is much easier on the patient than systemic chemotherapy. Radio frequency therapy can be given without adversely affecting the patient’s overall health and most people can resume their usual activities in a few days. In this procedure, an interventional radiologist guides a small needle through the skin into the tumor. From the tip of the needle, radiofrequency energy (similar to microwaves) is transmitted to the tip of the needle, where it produces heat in the tissues. The dead tumor tissue shrinks and slowly forms a scar. RFA is ideal for non-surgical candidates and those with smaller tumors. The FDA has approved RFA for the treatment of tumors in soft tissue, which includes the lung.

Study Highlights
  • Total patients 136 (36 women and 70 men)
  • Total of 186 malignant tumors that were 3.5 cm in diameter or smaller
  • Non-small cell lung 33
  • Colorectal cancer 53
  • Metastasis from other sites 20
  • None were surgical candidates
  • Patients were followed up for 27 months
  • No procedure related deaths
  • Major complications
    • Pneumothorax 27
    • Pleural effusion requiring treatment 4
    • Pneumonia 2
  • At a three-month CT evaluation, complete ablation of the tumor occurred in 173 of 186 tumors (93%)
  • Lung cancer 1 year overall survival 69%
  • Lung cancer 2 year overall survival 49%
  • If causes of deaths other than lung cancer were excluded survival rates were 91
  • Colorectal cancer with metastatic to the lung, cancer-only related deaths were 88 percent at one year and 72 percent at two years.

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