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Eur J Cancer. 2009 Jul;45(10):1748-56. doi: 10.1016/j.ejca.2009.03.012. Epub 2009 Apr 6.

A systematic review on the clinical benefit and role of radiofrequency ablation as treatment of colorectal liver metastases.

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  • 1Department of Oncology, Asklepios Hospital Hamburg-Altona, Germany.



To evaluate the role of radiofrequency ablation (RFA) as treatment of colorectal cancer liver metastases (CLMs).


A PubMed literature search for original articles published until August 2008 was performed. Studies with 40 patients, 18 month median follow-up and reported 3 year overall survival (OS) rates after RFA of CLM were selected for analysis.


Thirteen clinical series and 8 non-randomised comparative studies were analysed. Median progression free survival after RFA ranged between 6 and 13 months. Median and 5-year OS after RFA (RFA plus resection) ranged between 24-59 months and 18-40% (36-46 months and 27-30%). Comparative studies indicated significantly improved OS after RFA versus chemotherapy alone, RFA plus chemotherapy versus RFA alone and up-front RFA versus RFA following second-line chemotherapy.


Our findings support that RFA prolongs time without toxicity and survival as an adjunct to hepatectomy and/or chemotherapy in well-selected patients, but not as an alternative to resection.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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