Radiofrequency ablation during breast cancer surgery can provide effective alternative to XRT

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Radiofrequency ablation of the lumpectomy site during breast cancer surgery can provide an effective alternative to post-operative external radiation therapy (XRT) and reduce repeat surgeries to achieve clear tumor margins, according to one of the first published long-term studies to examine this new treatment protocol. Researchers reported this week at the American Society of Breast Surgeons (ASBrS) Annual Meeting that utilizing radiofrequency-generated heat to create an added disease-free zone around the tumor cavity is at least as effective in preventing local tumor recurrence as XRT following surgery. In many cases, ablation also extended the disease-free zone sufficiently to eliminate the need for repeat surgery to correct inadequate disease-free tumor margins identified in post-operative pathology examination.    

"Radiation has a range of difficult side effects, including shrinkage of breast tissue, loss of sensation and damage to nearby healthy tissue," comments lead study author V. Suzanne Klimberg, MD, FACS, Muriel Balsam Chair in Surgical Oncology and Professor of Surgery and Pathology at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Director of the Breast Cancer Program at the Winthrop P. Rockefeller Institute of the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, and President-Elect of the ASBrS. "Additionally, for patients in rural areas in the US and around the world, XRT—the standard of care following lumpectomy surgery—simply isn't an option if a therapy center is not located nearby. Today, these patients have no choice but mastectomy."

In the study, 60 patients with invasive cancer underwent tumor excision (lumpectomy surgery) followed by radiofrequency ablation (eRFA) at 100 degrees C for 15 minutes with a real-time radiofrequency probe to extend the radius of the lumpectomy cavity by 1 cm. None of the patients received adjunctive XRT.


  1. del cath del cath United States says:

    This is very interesting!

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