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Reuters Health Information (2009-04-22): RF ablation helpful in some recurrent pediatric solid tumors


RF ablation helpful in some recurrent pediatric solid tumors

Last Updated: 2009-04-22 14:20:06 -0400 (Reuters Health)

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Radiofrequency (RF) ablation may provide benefit to a sizable minority of patients with recurrent solid tumors that were first treated in childhood, according to findings from a pilot study.

As lead investigator Dr. Fredric A. Hoffer told Reuters Health, "Radiofrequency ablation may extend the life of patients who have pulmonary metastases that recur after the first surgical resection." Also, he added, it may relieve the pain from some soft tissue or bone lesions.

In the March 15th issue of Cancer, Dr. Hoffer, now at Seattle Children's Hospital, Washington and colleagues report on 16 patients, ages 4-33 years (median age, 15 years), with 56 tumor sites, who were treated at St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee. Most lesions (38) were pulmonary.

Eighty-two lesion ablations were performed. At 1 month after the procedure, 51 (62%) were completely ablated. By the end of the 5-year study period, 27 of the ablated tumors had recurred.

There were 5 surviving patients at the end of the study. One was free of disease. In the other 4, 24 tumors (29%) remained ablated.

Prolonged hospitalization (beyond 1 day) was required on 17 occasions. Postprocedural pain was moderate and lasted for a median of 9 days. Eight patients had postprocedural hypoxia requiring supplemental oxygen, which resolved within a month. Two patients with pulmonary lesions developed diaphragmatic hernias.

The authors believe "the toxicity of radiofrequency ablation was worth the benefit in all 16 patients." The researchers have now embarked on a phase 2 trial for RFA treatment of both malignant and benign lesions in children.

Cancer 2009;115:1328-1337.

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