Study: RFA shows promise for renal cell carcinoma

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Radiofrequency ablation (RFA) demonstrated 93 percent effectiveness in the successful eradication of malignant kidney tumors, according to a study conducted by researchers from Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem, N.C., and published in this month’s American Journal of Roentgenology.

The study consisted of 104 patients with a total of 125 biopsy-confirmed tumors ranging from 0.6 cm to 8.8 cm. Of the 125 tumors, 95 were smaller than 3.7 cm and were completely eradicated in one RFA treatment. Fourteen larger tumors were also eradicated after one treatment. Of the 16 remaining larger tumors, seven were eradicated after a second treatment.

According to lead author Dr. Ronald Zagoria, patients who are not good operative candidates, usually due to co-existing illnesses, and those with multiple renal tumors, now have an excellent option for curing their tumors.

Of note, Zagoria said there was a very low rate of serious complications and that the ablation was uniform and complete throughout the treated area, with no evidence of recurrence within the margins of the treated tumors. Also, 95 percent of the patients were able to go home the same day the procedure was completed.