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Radiofrequency Ablation of Renal Tumors Can Fail

Tumor can progress and renocolic fistulas can develop

TUESDAY, Nov. 28 (HealthDay News) -- Radiofrequency ablation of renal tumors without resection can sometimes be ineffective and lead to tumor progression and the formation of renocolic fistulas, according to two cases reported in the November issue of Urology.

Andrew C. Peterson, M.D., and colleagues from the Madigan Army Medical Center in Tacoma, Wash., describe the cases of two patients with renal tumors who were part of a study examining radiofrequency ablation and resection of tumors or ablation and follow-up without resection. The two patients were in the ablate and follow-up arm.

The researchers report that less than a year after ablation, the tumor became 20 percent larger in one patient and became four times larger in the other patient, who developed a renocolic fistula. A radical nephrectomy showed that the pathology was renal cell carcinoma. "This is the first reported case of a renocolic fistula after radiofrequency ablation of a renal tumor," the authors write.

"Rapid tumor progression and renocolic fistula formation are possible complications of radiofrequency ablation," Peterson and colleagues conclude. "This treatment requires close and aggressive follow-up to ensure complete eradication of the renal lesion."

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