RITA announces early results from clinical trial at ASCO

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RITA Medical Systems, Inc. this week announced the early results from an international multi-center prospective clinical trial to show a 92 percent survival rate in stage I non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients treated with RITA radiofrequency ablation (RFA) as the sole anti-cancer treatment.

Riccardo Lencioni, MD, professor of diagnostic and interventional radiology at the University of Pisa in Italy, presented the results of the trial at the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) annual meeting in a paper titled, "Percutaneous Radiofrequency Ablation of Stage I Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer: A Prospective Multi-center Clinical Trial."

"At last year's ASCO meeting we presented our research conclusions that RFA is a safe and effective means to destroy non-small cell lung tumors," said Lencioni. "At the 2004 ASCO meeting, we are pleased to have presented the first survival statistics for these patients using RFA as the sole anti-cancer treatment."

Rita says the presentation focused on patients with primary NSCLC originating in the lungs that had not progressed to local lymph nodes. The trial included fourteen patients with stage I biopsy proven NSCLC lesions ranging in size from 1.0 to 3.0 cm. All patients were considered unfit for surgery and radiation therapy due to co-morbidity or reduced pulmonary function. Researchers were able to successfully perform RITA RFA in a single treatment session in 100 percent of the patients. Two patients with local tumor progression required re-treatment. Cancer specific survival at one year in all patients was 92.3 percent and overall survival at one year was 80.8 percent including death from causes other than tumor progression.