Send to

Choose Destination
Ann Thorac Surg. 2012 Mar;93(3):921-7; discussion 927-88. doi: 10.1016/j.athoracsur.2011.11.043. Epub 2012 Jan 31.

Radiofrequency ablation for stage I non-small cell lung cancer: management of locoregional recurrence.

Author information

Division of Thoracic Surgery, Department of Radiation Oncology, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts 02114, USA.



This study characterizes the management of locoregional recurrence (LRR) in patients with high-risk stage I non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) treated with lung radiofrequency ablation (RFA).


Consecutive patients with biopsy-proven stage I NSCLC underwent computed tomography-guided lung RFA from December 2003 to 2010. All patients were deemed medically inoperable or refused an operation. RFA was performed with curative intent.


Fifty-five ablations were performed in 45 patients (age, 51 to 89 years) with stage I NSCLC. At a median follow-up of 32 months, LRR occurred in 21 (38%) within a mean of 12±10 (range, 1-44) months from RFA. Recurrence was observed locally in the tumor bed in 18 (33%), in regional nodes in 4 (7%), and distant in 2 (4%). The mean maximal tumor diameter was 2.3±1.3 (range, 0.7 to 4.5) cm. In tumors exceeding 3 cm, 10 (80%) were associated with LRR. Recurrent lesions were treated with repeat RFA (5), radiotherapy (8), chemoradiotherapy (5), and chemotherapy (2). Local control was achieved by repeat RFA in 2 of 5 (40%) or by radiotherapy in 8 lesions (100%), with 2 regional nodal failures (median follow-up, 40±13 months). Overall survival among patients who did or did not experience LRR was similar (32% to 35%). Repeat RFA was not associated with any significant complications or procedure-related 30-day mortality.


Lung RFA is associated with increased rates of local failure in tumors exceeding 3 cm and in contact with larger segmental vessels. Patients with local failure can be promptly salvaged with SBRT or repeat RFA, without detriment to overall survival.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center