• 7/28/2006
  • New York City, NY
  • Dr. Jay Adlersberg
  • wabc tv (abclocal.go.com)

There’s new information on using heat to kill cancer tumors. The procedure is called Radio Frequency Ablation. It doesn’t easily roll of the tip of your tongue, but it is a nonsurgical option for treating early cancer.

On Call with Dr. Jay Adlersberg:

Louis De Pasquale, accompanied by his wife Diane, is on his way to the radiology treatment suite at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. The 73-year-old retired electrician has a small cancerous tumor in his lung.

De Pasquale did not want to have surgery so he opted instead for the procedure which will require no cutting, R.F.A., which stands for Radio Frequency Ablation.

Louis DePasquale, RFA patient: “It sounded like the way to go. I consulted with my brothers who are doctors and they agreed. Let’s go for it. And here I am.”

Dr. Stephen Solomon, an interventional radiologist, uses high tech imaging machines, a cat scan, and an advanced x-ray machine to put the needles.

With these machines, he can see the tumor and the needles directly and in 3-dimensions.

Dr. Stephen Solomon, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Ctr.: “We do it in patients with lung cancer, kidney cancer, liver cancer, and bone cancer. And in many of these cases, what we’re doing is we’re trying to kill the tumor right where it is rather than have to cut it out.”

Once he is comfortable with the placing, the energy is turned on for 10 to 30 minutes. The tumor is killed. The dead tissue stays in the body and over time is absorbed.

The procedure has both advantages and disadvantages over a surgery and few small studies have shown it can extend life, the final word is not on that is not in yet.

Dr. Solomon: “I think it’s gonna turn out to be a little bit less effective than surgery but the complication rate is probably gonna be much better than surgery and that’s the trade off we’re looking at.”

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