In a nutshell
This study evaluated the effectiveness and safety of radiofrequency ablation (RFA) for breast cancer (BC) smaller than 2 cm. The data showed that RFA was safe and effective in these patients.
Radiofrequency ablation (RFA) is a medical procedure where pieces of tissue are removed using the heat that is produced from an electrical current. It is a minimally invasive procedure. It involves electrodes being inserted under the skin and into the tumor. A current is then passed through the electrodes which generate heat and kills the tumor cells.
Previous studies have demonstrated that RFA is a safe and effective local treatment of BC. However, these studies were based on tumors with sizes ranging from 0.2 cm to 5 cm. There are very few studies investigating the effectiveness and safety of RFA for BC smaller than 2 cm.
Methods & findings
This study evaluated 17 studies involving a total of 399 patients with BC and 401 tumors. The size of the tumors ranged between 0.4 to 2 cm. The average follow-up time was 27.29 months.
99% of lesions achieved a good technical success rate. 83.88% of the patients received RFA under general anesthesia and 15.87% of the patients received RFA under local anesthesia. Of those who had local anesthesia, 98.41% of patients tolerated the pain associated with the procedure.
65.74% of the patients underwent surgical removal of the tumor after ablation. In 34.26% of the patients, the tumor tissue was retained in the breast after ablation. There was no local recurrence of cancer regardless of surgical removal of the tumor after RFA.
Complete ablation was achieved in 96% of patients. The average ablation time was 15.8 minutes. Overall, 2% of the patients developed complications. Skin burns were the most common complication.
The bottom line
This study concluded that RFA for BCs smaller than 2 cm is safe and effective.
The fine print
Most studies had a very small sample size. Further studies are needed to validate the conclusion of this study.
Published By :
Frontiers in oncology
May 21, 2021
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