Radio-frequency Ablation of Large, Nonresectable Hepatic Tumors

Morgan III, Joe Harris; Royer, Gayla M.; Hackett, Paul; Gamblin, Clark; McCampbell, Beth L.; Conforti, Arnold; Dale, Paul S.
December 2004
American Surgeon;Dec2004, Vol. 70 Issue 12, p1035
Academic Journal
Patients with nonresectable hepatic metastases who are not treated survive an average of 6 months. We report our experience with radio-frequency ablation (RFA) of nonresectable hepatic tumors 4 cm or greater in size. A retrospective chart review of all patients undergoing RFA of hepatic tumors 4 cm or greater from October 1, 1999, through August 31, 2002, was performed. Thirty-six patients were identified who underwent RFA of tumors 4 cm or greater. There were a total of 81 tumors ablated in the 36 patients. Twenty patients underwent RFA only; seven patients received RFA plus a wedge resection. Five patients were treated with RFA followed by chemoembolization. Two patients underwent RFA plus placement of a hepatic artery infusion pump. The median tumor size was 5 cm (range, 4-14 cm). Median patient follow-up was 26 months (range, 1-54 months). Patients with metastatic colon cancer had the longest median survival of 28 months (range, 1 and 48 months). The survival of primary hepatocellular carcinoma was worse with a median survival of 20 months (range, 1-36 months). At last follow-up, 11 (30%) of the patients remain alive and disease free. There were no perioperative deaths and one intraoperative complication. In our experience, RFA of larger tumors is effective and safe. Tumor size should not be an absolute contraindication to RFA of nonresectable hepatic tumors.


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