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01 February 2012

Thermal ablation of unresectable liver tumors: Factors associated with partial ablation and the impact on long-term survival

Philipp WiggermannABDEF, Ralf PulsAB, Andrej VasiljBC, Dominik SierońBF, Andreas G. SchreyerDE, Ernst-Michael JungACEF, Wojciech WawrzynekDF, Christian StroszczynskiABCDEF

DOI: 10.12659/MSM.882463

Med Sci Monit 2012; 18(2): CR88-92

Abstract

Background: Thermal ablation procedures, including radiofrequency ablation (RFA) or laser-induced interstitial thermotherapy (LITT), are now well established in the treatment of malignant unresectable hepatic tumors. But the impact of partial ablation (PA) on long-term survival following computed tomography (CT)-guided radiofrequency ablation and laser- induced interstitial thermotherapy of unresectable malignant liver lesions and the associated risk factors of PA remain partially unknown.
Material/Methods: This study included 254 liver tumors in 91 consecutive patients (66 men and 25 women; age 60.9±10.4 years; mean tumor size 25±14 mm [range 5–70 mm]) who underwent thermal ablation (RFA or LITT) between January 2000 and December 2007. Mean follow-up period was 21.1 month (range 1–69 months). Survival rate and local progression-free survival (PFS) were calculated for patients with complete ablation (CA) vs. patients with partial ablation (PA) to assess the impact on long-term survival.
Results: Median survival after CA was 47 months compared to 25 months after PA (P=0.04). The corresponding 5-year survival rates were 44% vs. 20%. Median PFS for CA was 11 months compared to 7 months for PA (P=0.118). The sole statistically significant risk factor for PA was tumor size (>30 mm; P=0.0003). Sustained complete ablation was achieved in 71% of lesions ≤30 mm vs. 47% of lesions >30 mm.
Conclusions: We conclude that achievement of complete ablation is a highly important predictor of long-term survival and that tumor size is by far the most important predictor of the likelihood of achieving complete ablation.

Keywords: Postoperative Period, Liver Neoplasms - therapy, Hyperthermia, Induced - methods, Disease Progression, Risk Factors, Survival Rate

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Medical Science Monitor eISSN: 1643-3750
Medical Science Monitor eISSN: 1643-3750