RF ablation sets sights on breast cancer

February 1, 2002

Early research on radio-frequency ablation (RFA) in the breast shows promising results, prompting hope that the procedure may one day offer an alternative to surgical resection for small tumors.

Early research on radio-frequency ablation (RFA) in the breast shows promising results, prompting hope that the procedure may one day offer an alternative to surgical resection for small tumors.

Using RFA to treat tumors in 26 patients with biopsy-proven T1 and T2 breast carcinoma, researchers in Italy and at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center aimed for complete ablation and a 5-mm margin. They achieved complete tumor necrosis in 25 of 26 patients, or 96%.

Traditional surgery, such as lumpectomy, usually takes about an hour. Researchers reported a mean treatment time for two-phase RFA of 15 minutes and 23 seconds.