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Efficacy and safety of radiofrequency ablation in the treatment of inoperable patients with pulmonary malignant nodules.

ANZ Journal of Surgery 2023 November 2
BACKGROUND: Radiofrequency ablation (RFA) has been recently applied as an alternative treatment in the patients with pulmonary malignancies. The aim of our study was to assess the incidence of complications and survival rate of RFA for malignant lung nodules, and evaluate the efficacy and safety of RFA in the treatment of inoperable patients with pulmonary malignant nodules.

METHODS: The clinical data of 50 patients with primary and metastatic lung malignant nodules treated with RFA from June 2015 and July 2017 in Hebei General Hospital were considered, and the characteristics and clinical data of these patients were analysed. Complications, progression-free survival and overall survival at 1, 2 and 5 years of these patients were evaluated.

RESULTS: Following the procedure. There were no major complications and deaths during the operation. 26 (52%) patients presented mild-to-moderate chest pain that was easily controlled by analgesic drugs. 8 (16%) patients with pneumothorax, 4 (8%) haemoptysis, 6 (12%) pneumonia, 7 (14%) pleural effusion and 1 (2%) postoperative bronchopleural fistula. Needle-track implantation was observed in 2 (4%) patients. Median progression-free survival (PFS) was 24.6 months. The PFS at 1, 2, 5 years was 76%, 52% and 20%, respectively. Median overall survival (OS) was 35.5 months. The OS at 1, 2 and 5 years was 80%, 58% and 32%, respectively.

CONCLUSION: RFA is a safe and effective alternative treatment for the inoperable patients with primary or metastatic pulmonary malignant nodules. The clinical impact and long-term results of RFA need to be further confirmed in a larger series of patients, and RFA should ideally be compared with surgery.

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