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Radiofrequency ablation for recurrent pelvic cancer

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Abstract Objective 

Local recurrence of pelvic cancer is a therapeutic challenge. The purpose of the study was to evaluate radiofrequency ablation (RFA, intra-operative or CT-guided) for the treatment of pelvic recurrence in patients not eligible for curative surgical resection. Method 

Charts of all patients treated for pelvic recurrence by RFA between March 2004 and March 2005 were reviewed. Results 

Eight patients (two females) had RFA for inoperable local recurrence [rectal adenocarcinoma (six) and sarcoma (two)]. Surgical resection of the primary tumour had been performed at a median age of 50.2 (36.7–61.6) years. Recurrence occurred after a median of 49.5 (11.7–63.5) months. The mean size of the recurrence was 33.4 (20–45) mm. RFA was given on a median number of two occasions (1–3). Complications occurred in six patients including minor pain [pelvic (six); sciatic nerve irritation (four)]; ureteric obstruction requiring stenting (two) and colo-vesical fistula (one), requiring ileal urinary diversion. After a median follow-up of 18.2 months (11–32), six patients were still alive. Patients, who had experienced pain prior to RFA were pain-free. Five patients showed evidence of further tumour growth but were asymptomatic. Conclusion 

Radiofrequency ablation is a feasible therapeutic option for recurrent pelvic cancer. It allows good symptom control in patients with pain but morbidity is high.

Keywords: Radiofrequency; pelvic cancer; pelvic recurrence; rectal cancer

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Digestive Surgery 2: Radiology, Hospital Saint-Antoine AP-HP, University Paris VI (Pierre and Marie Curie), Paris, France

Publication date: October 1, 2008


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