Bellvitge University Hospital has recently launched a program of radiofrequency ablation of lung tumors. The HUB, in collaboration with the ICO, is expanding its range of therapeutic resources against cancers of worse prognosis.

In this program are participating the Nephrology Service, the Lung Functional Unit (Respiratory Medicine, Thoracic Surgery, Medical Oncology and Radiation Oncology) and the Colon Functional Unit.

The hospital has initiated a program of radiofrequency ablation of lung tumors

The radiofrequency ablation of lung tumors is an image-guided technique by computed tomography (CT), which manages to destroy cancer cells through heating in a minimally invasive procedure.

The patient is operated on a device of CT’s exploration, of the Radio-Diagnosis Service at the Hub, through which a radiofrequency needle is guided to the carcinogenic tumor. A generator connected to this needle sends electrical currents that generates heat. This heat causes ionic agitation of the molecules in the area to be treated and when it reaches about 60 degrees centigrade produce a necrosis by coagulation. The procedure has no influence on the respiratory function.

Its main value is that it can be used in people who, due to limitations in their respiratory function, are in a delicate situation to be subjected to surgery. It can also be used to treat primary tumors or metastases that are difficult to locate or difficult to remove with conventional surgery. Because it is little invasive requires short hospitalization if complications do not arise.

The tumors that are candidates for radiofrequency are -early stage tumors (without lymph node or metastatic spread) and early stage lung metastases of other origin (mainly of the colon, but also from other sources) that are not treatable with either surgery or radiotherapy.

May 2011

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