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Ann Surg Oncol. 2008 Jun;15(6):1765-74. doi: 10.1245/s10434-008-9848-7. Epub 2008 Mar 27.

A systematic review of radiofrequency ablation for lung tumors.

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Department of Surgery, St George Hospital, University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW 2217, Australia.



Radiofrequency ablation (RFA) has been increasingly utilized as a non-surgical treatment option for patients with primary and metastatic lung tumors. We performed the present systematic review to assess the safety and efficacy of RFA.


Searches for all relevant studies prior to November 2006 were performed on six databases. Two reviewers independently appraised each study using predetermined criteria. Clinical effectiveness was synthesized through a narrative review, with full tabulation of results of all included studies.


A total of 17 of the most recent updates from each institution were included for appraisal and data extraction. All were case series and were classified as level-4 evidence. The mean number of lesions treated ranged from 1 to 2.8, and the mean size ranged from 1.7 cm to 5.2 cm. The overall procedure-related morbidity rate ranged from 15.2% to 55.6% and mortality from 0% to 5.6%. The most commonly reported complication was pneumothorax (4.5-61.1%). Most pneumothoraces were self-limiting and only 3.3-38.9% (median = 11%) required chest drain insertion. The local recurrence of tumors at the site of RFA ranged from 3% to 38.1% (median = 11.2%). The median progression-free interval ranged from 15 months to 26.7 months (median = 21 months), and 1-, 2- and 3-year survival rates were 63-85%, 55-65% and 15-46%, respectively.


Only observational studies were available for evaluation, which demonstrated some promising safety profiles of RFA.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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