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Radiofrequency Ablation Safe, Effective for Renal Tumors

Method appears to be most effective in treating carcinomas smaller than 3.7 centimeters

FRIDAY, Aug. 3 (HealthDay News) -- Percutaneous radiofrequency ablation guided by computed tomography is an effective and safe treatment for patients with renal cell carcinomas, according to a report published in the August issue of the American Journal of Roentgenology.

Ronald J. Zagoria M.D., of Wake Forest University Health Sciences in Winston-Salem, N.C., and colleagues analyzed data from 104 patients who underwent treatment for 125 renal cell carcinomas ranging in size from 0.6 to 8.8 centimeters (cm). A single ablation session was sufficient to completely ablate 116 tumors (93 percent), including all of the 95 tumors less than 3.7 cm and 21 of the larger tumors. Seven more tumors were completely ablated in a second session. A total of eight patients experienced short-term complications from the procedure, though none resulted in long-term morbidity.

"This is the largest treatment group to date of patients with biopsy-proven renal malignancies," Zagoria noted in a statement. "The results -- a high cure rate and low complication rate -- establish that at institutions with experience doing this procedure, this is an alternative method for treating small renal malignancies in patients who are not good surgical candidates."

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