Washington, Apr 13: A new technique, called multipolar radiofrequency ablation, has been approved as an effective treatment for colorectal liver and that too with a low recurrence rate, says a recent study at Charite, Campus Benjamin Franklin in Berlin, Germany.
The study, led by Bernd Frericks, MD, evaluated 27 patients with 67 colorectal liver metastases that were treated using multipolar radiofrequency ablation (RFA). "Radiofrequency ablation has become a widely used treatment option for patients with primary liver cancer and liver metastases from some primary tumors, if surgery is not an option. However, because of limited sizes of the ablation zones the technique has been limited to tumors smaller than four centimetres," said Frericks.
"This long-term study (four years) was performed using a new multipolar radiofrequency (RF)-device allowing for up to six ablation probes to be used simultaneously, thus providing larger ablation zones. We evaluated this new technique prospectively regarding ablation zone size, technical effectiveness, complications and clinical outcome in patients with colorectal liver metastases," he added.
The findings revealed that complete tumor destruction occurred in 66 of 67 cases. Out of the 67 metastases, eight required reablation.
It was also found that after a mean of nine months, 16 patients developed new metastases in the liver and the lung, eight of which were successfully reablated. After four years, 52 percent of the patients are now tumor-free and 78 percent are still living.
"Using this new device, the rate of local tumor progressions was not influenced by the size of the tumor to be treated," said Frericks.