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Ann Surg Oncol. 2012 Aug;19(8):2618-9. doi: 10.1245/s10434-012-2293-7. Epub 2012 Mar 16.

Radiofrequency ablation after breast lumpectomy added to extend intraoperative margins in the treatment of breast cancer (ABLATE): a single-institution experience.

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  • 1Columbia University Medical Center, New York, NY, USA.



Breast-conserving surgery is often preferred to treat early-stage breast cancer. This method aims to minimize repeat excision and local recurrence rates. The ABLATE Registry expands this to multiple centers with a total accrual goal of 250. This video illustrates an intraoperative radiofrequency ablation (RFA) technique.


Sixteen women with a mean age of 65 years underwent RFA after lumpectomy. The RFA probe was deployed 1 cm circumferentially in the cavity and maintained at 100°C for 15 min. The ablation zone was monitored with color-flow ultrasound. Patients returned 2 weeks later to complete the Subjective Cosmetic Scale and the European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer Body Image Scale.


At a mean follow-up of 3.9 months, there were no local recurrences. Two-week cosmesis scores were excellent (n = 9) or good (n = 5).


Our initial experience is encouraging. Continued national accrual will permit evaluation of reduction in repeat excision and local recurrence rate, as well as potentially reduce requirements for adjuvant radiation.

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