Reuters Health Information (2005-03-29): RF ablation curbs colorectal cancer liver metastasis
RF ablation curbs colorectal cancer liver metastasis
Last Updated: 2005-03-29 16:27:29 -0400 (Reuters Health)
NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Radiofrequency thermal
ablation (RFA) appears to provide a survival advantage compared to
chemotherapy alone in certain colorectal cancer patients with
metastases to the liver, researchers report in the March issue of the
Journal of Clinical Oncology.
Dr. Allan E. Siperstein of the Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Ohio,
and colleagues note that although resection of hepatic metastases is
standard treatment, as many as 20% of patients may not be candidates
because of extensive disease or comorbidities.
To characterize predictors of survival in those who underwent
laparoscopic RFA rather than resection, the researchers studied 135
Following RFA, the median survival for all patients was 28.9 months.
Patients with a cancer embryonic antigen level below 200 ng/mL had an
improved survival (34 months) compared to those with a higher level (14
Survival difference approached significance in patients with three
or fewer tumors compared to those with more (29 months versus 22
However, having a tumor larger than 5 cm was the only significant
predictor of mortality. This carried a 2.5-fold increased risk of
death, compared to having no tumor greater than 3 cm. The presence of
extrahepatic disease did not affect survival.
The researchers note that, historically, survival with chemotherapy
alone is 11 to 14 months, and they thus conclude that "RFA is a useful
adjunct to chemotherapy in patients with liver-predominant disease."
J Clin Oncol 2005;23:1358-1364.