Purpose: Percutaneous image guided radiofrequency ablation (RFA) is increasingly used as an alternative treatment option for patients with inoperable primary lung cancer (NSCLC) but there are little published outcome data. We report safety & efficacy of RFA in patients with NSCLC (stages 1-4) at 1 & 2 years.

Methods and Materials: Under general anaesthesia 38 patients, underwent RFA of 50 pulmonary tumours. Survival were evaluated prospectively at 3, 6, 9,12 & 24 months whilst complications was assessed 1 month post procedure.

Results: There were no cases of procedure related mortality. Complications included pneumothorax requiring intercostal drain (ICD) insertion (n=20, 53%), small pneumothorax not requiring ICD (n=3, 8%) and pleural effusion (n=2, 5%). One year overall survival and cancer specific (C/S) for tumours classified as Stage 1 (n=20) were 100% and 100% respectively. Stage 2 (n=7) 85% & 100% respectively and stage 4 (n=11) 64% & 73% respectively. Two year survivals (overall & C/S) for Stage 1 were 85% & 95%, in Stage 2 patients 43% & 86% and those at Stage 4 45% & 64% respectively.

Conclusion: RFA is a safe, effective and well-tolerated treatment option in patients with inoperable lung cancer. Our study also shows that ablation therapy may be useful in higher stage tumours.


Julia Beeson, Vladimir Anikin, Sundeep Kaul, Dimitrios Kyparissopoulos, Paras Dalal
Department of Thoracic Surgery and Radiology, Royal Brompton & Harefield NHS Foundation Trust, London, United Kingdom


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