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Semin Ultrasound CT MR. 2009 Apr;30(2):105-12.

Radiofrequency ablation therapy for small breast cancer.

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  • Department of Breast Oncology, Kanazawa University Hospital, Takara-machi 13-1, Kanazawa, 920-8640, Japan. nogumasa@med.kanazawa-u.ac.jp


There is increasing demand for minimally invasive and nonsurgical treatment methods for patients with small breast cancer, and radiofrequency (RF) ablation seems the most promising nonsurgical ablation technique for the treatment of breast cancer. However, a number of problems remain to be resolved in the practical use of RF ablation. This review article discusses the relevance and applicability of RF ablation for small breast cancer. A review of the English language medical literature was performed using Medline database software cross-referencing major articles on the subject. Several feasibility studies indicated that RF ablation can effectively eradicate breast cancer cells, and early results of pilot studies have shown that this technique is promising for the local treatment of small breast cancer. However, a major problem of RF ablation is the inability to assess the margins of the treated lesion. RF ablation for breast cancer should still be considered in the investigative stage. We propose a new method of RF ablation followed by percutaneous excision of the ablated tumor. A combination of RF ablation and percutaneous en bloc excision using an Ovation breast biopsy device may provide clear margins and full histological workup with better cosmetic results. Further studies are needed to determine whether the use of RF ablation and breast irradiation for local treatment of primary breast cancer may result in local recurrence and can produce survival rates equivalent to those obtainable with conventional BCT.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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