American Roentgen Ray Society – A relatively new, minimally invasive treatment – radiofrequency ablation – was 93 percent successful in eradicating malignant kidney tumors, according to a recent study conducted by researchers from Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem, NC.
“I have performed many radiofrequency ablations of renal tumors and the results looked promising,” said Ronald J. Zagoria, MD, lead author of the study. “I wanted to scientifically review the data to better assess the results and look for patterns that might predict success or complications,” he said.
The study consisted of 104 patients with a total of 125 tumors ranging from 0.6 cm to 8.8 cm. In all patients, a biopsy confirmed the presence of renal cell carcinoma (RCC), the most common type of kidney cancer. Of the 125 tumors, 95 were smaller than 3.7 cm and were completely eradicated in one treatment. Fourteen larger tumors were also eradicated after one treatment. Of the 16 remaining larger tumors, seven were eradicated after a second treatment.
“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,” said Dr. Zagoria. “Surgery should be the first option, since the long-term results of this procedure have not been substantiated,” he said.
“There was a very low rate of serious complications and ablation was uniform and complete throughout the treated area, with no evidence of recurrence within the margins of the treated tumors,” said Dr. Zagoria. “Also, ninety-five percent of patients were treated with minimal discomfort and they were able to go home the same day the procedure was completed,” he said.
The full results of this study on radiofrequency ablation of kidney tumors appear in the August 2007 issue of the American Journal of Roentgenology, published by the American Roentgen Ray Society.