Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Ablation of Lung Tumours

This is a growing area in ablation with increasing numbers of patients being referred. Our group, based at UCLH, is now performing as many as 40 treatments/year, all for patients with inoperable lung tumours. We have the largest experience in the UK and worldwide there are more than 12 other centres performing lung ablation.

The National Institute of Clinical Excellence “NICE” recently looked at the published literature on RFA in lung tumours and decided that the safety profile was well studied and was acceptable. They asked for additional research into the role of RFA relative to conventional therapies such as surgery and radiotherapy. Whilst this research is on-going “NICE” has approved RFA for inoperable lung tumours within the context of audit and research. Given the limitations of existing therapies and the known effectiveness of RFA in tumours generally, I would anticipate a major role for RFA in the treatment of small primary and secondary lung tumours.

Cancer patient Jean Ratcliff has recently undergone RFA to a small tumour in her right lung. Jean says “this procedure only required an overnight stay in hospital and the recovery time was reasonably quick and I am now feeling fine”.

Dr Alice Gillams MRCP FRCR ABR
Senior Lecturer, Medical Imaging, University College London