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Orthop Surg. 2011 Nov;3(4):229-35. doi: 10.1111/j.1757-7861.2011.00149.x.

Intraoperative microwave inactivation in-situ of malignant tumors in the scapula.

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  • 1Department of Bone Oncology, Tianjin Hospital, Hexi District, Tianjin, China. yongchenghu@yahoo.com.cn



To explore the feasibility and effect of microwave in situ inactivation of malignant primary or metastatic tumors in the scapula.


Seventeen patients (12 men, 5 women, mean age 48 years [range, 13-59 years]) with malignant primary or metastatic tumors involving the scapula were treated by microwave inactivation between June 1998 and February 2008. There were 12 malignant primary bone and 5 metastatic tumors. In 14 cases Area Sl was involved and in 3 cases both Areas S1 and S2. All 17 cases were by making a dorsal arc- or "∩-" shaped incision to expose the tumor, protecting the surrounding soft tissues with a copper grid, and then heated the tumors locally with 2450 MHz microwave to 50°C for 20 min, after which all or some of the necrotic tumor tissue was removed, preserving the support role of the scapula.


The operation time was 60-180 min (mean 120 min) and blood loss was 300-1000 mL (mean 460 mL). No serious intraoperative or postoperative complications occurred in any patient. The patients were followed up for 3 months to 10 years (mean 4.2 years). Three patients with Ewing's sarcoma in the scapula had pulmonary, cerebral and systemic multiple metastases and died 8~24 months after surgery. Three patients with malignant fibrous histiocytoma died of pulmonary and systemic multiple metastases 10~22 months after surgery; one patient had recurrence 6 months after surgery and survived with tumor. Five patients with metastatic tumor in the scapula died of non-scapular metastatic tumor 6~14 months after surgery. The other five patients with primary malignant bone tumors had no recurrence or metastasis during follow-up. Three cases had restricted extension of the shoulder joint with unrestricted protraction and retroflexion after surgery. Conclusion:  In situ microwave inactivation features simple surgery, reliable effects and patient acceptability, making it an ideal surgical method for malignant tumors in the scapula.

© 2011 Tianjin Hospital and Blackwell Publishing Asia Pty Ltd.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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