Radio-frequency ablation of colorectal liver metastases in 167 patients
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The objective of this paper is to report our results from a prospective study of 167 patients with colorectal liver metastases treated with radio-frequency ablation (RFA). Three hundred fifty-four treatments were performed in 167 patients, 99 males, mean age 57 years (34–87). The mean number of metastases was 4.1 (1–27). The mean maximum diameter was 3.9 cm (1–12). Fifty-one (31%) had stable/treated extra-hepatic disease. Treatments were performed under general anaesthesia using US and CT guidance and single or cluster water-cooled electrodes (Valleylab, Boulder, CO). All patients had been rejected for or had refused surgical resection. Eighty percent received chemotherapy. Survival data were stratified by tumour burden at the time of first RFA. The mean number of RFA treatments was 2.1 (1–7). During a mean follow-up of 17 months (0–89), 72 developed new liver metastases and 71 developed progressive extra-hepatic disease. There were 14/354 (4%) major local complications and 22/354 (6%) minor local complications. For patients with ≤5 metastases, maximum diameter ≤5 cm and no extra-hepatic disease, the 5-year survival from the time of diagnosis was 30% and from the time of first thermal ablation was 26%. Given that the 5-year survival for operable patients is a median of 32%, our 5-year survival of 30% is promising.
KeywordsLiver tumours Radio-frequency ablation Colorectal metastases
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