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Radiologists offer non-surgical treatment for early-stage liver cancer

five years, which is comparable to results obtained with surgical resection in this type of patient. The results also indicate that RF ablation patient survival is dependent on the type of cirrhosis and number of tumors present.

"The results that we have reported are very promising," Dr. Lencioni said. "However, they can only be obtained when the diagnosis of liver cancer is made at an early, asymptomatic stage. It is of the utmost importance that all patients with chronic hepatitis or cirrhosis who are known to be at risk to develop liver cancer are carefully monitored for timely detection of the emergence of a tumor."

Ablation Success Confirmed by Pathologic Examination

A second study published in the March issue of Radiology further demonstrates the effectiveness of RF ablation to treat liver tumors.

"We have unequivocally demonstrated that RF ablation is highly capable of complete tumor destruction for small liver cancer nodules," said David S.K. Lu, M.D., professor of radiology and director of the image-guided tumor ablation program at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA.

In this study, UCLA researchers used RF ablation to treat 47 liver cancer nodules in 24 patients who were waiting for liver transplantation. After transplantation, pathologic examinations of the diseased livers were performed to retrospectively evaluate RF ablation's effectiveness.

The researchers found that 74 percent of the tumors were successfully treated by ablation. The procedure proved more successful with smaller tumors than with larger tumors, with a success rate of 83 percent when treating tumors 3 centimeters or smaller.

According to Dr. Lu, not all tumors are amenable to such treatments. "It is important to discuss treatment options with a hepatologist or oncologist and to seek consultation with an interventional radiologist experienced in tumor ablation," he said.


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Contact: Maureen Morley
mmorley@rsna.org
630-590-7762
Radiological Society of North America
16-Feb-2005


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