Percutaneous radiofrequency ablation, a procedure that uses a high frequency electric current to kill tumor cells, is effective in achieving local control in selected patients with metastasis from ovarian cancer, according to a preliminary study conducted by the department of radiology at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, MA.
The study consisted of six patients with advanced ovarian cancer who underwent radiofrequency ablation to destroy disease that had spread to the liver. Some studies have shown that patients with advanced ovarian cancer can survive longer if they have repeated surgery to remove recurrent or new disease, said Debra Gervais, MD, lead author of the study. 'We wanted to see if we could use radiofrequency ablation instead of repeated open surgical resection for some of these patients,' she said.
The study found that, after a single session, radiofreqency ablation resulted in complete necrosis in five of the six patients, said Dr. Gervais. 'We followed the patients for between eight months and 3.3 years, and four of the five patients had no evidence that the cancer in the area that had been destroyed by radiofrequency ablation had returned,' she said.
'Treatment of ovarian cancer requires multi-modality approaches including surgery and chemotherapy, but our study indicates that a small number of patients may benefit from radiofrequency ablation instead of repeated surgery,' she said.