RadioFrequency Ablation (RFA)
Radiofrequency ablation (RFA) uses heat to destroy cancer cells. It is a type of treatment called thermal ablation. It is used to try to cure a cancer, reduce its size or relieve pain. It can be given alone, or with surgery, chemotherapy or radiotherapy. RFA is mainly used to treat liver, lung or kidney cancer. It may sometimes be used to treat other cancer types. Depending on your situation, you will have the treatment under local or general anaesthetic. The doctor uses an ultrasound or CT scan to guide the procedure.
A probe called an electrode applies an electrical current (radiofrequency) to a tumour. The current heats the cancer cells to a high temperature, which destroys (ablates) them.
Source: Macmillan cancer support
This study says:
Lung – Primary or metastatic lung cancer may be recalcitrant [resistant]to conventional therapies. While experience with RFA in the lung is nascent, early results are promising. To date, hundreds ofpatients have been treated with lung RFA. However, clinical data are limited and require larger patient populations to determine the efficacy of lung cancer ablation. RFA of these lesions in patients who are inoperable or refuse surgery presents different problems than ablation in other organs. The usually mild complication of pneumothorax is common, with a reported rate of 15–20%. In addition, Rose et al. documented microemboli in the carotid artery during lung RFA… However, there is growing data that lung RFA is as safe and effective as in other organs, especially when performed remote from the main pulmonary veins.
This study says:
RF ablation is a safe and effective treatment with a survival benefit for selected patients with primary and secondary lung tumors. Tumor status (solitary or multiple) and presence of extra-pulmonary metastasis at the initial RF ablation were significant prognostic factors for recurrence-free survival.