Thermal ablation effectively treats early-stage lung cancer

OAK BROOK, Ill. – Thermal ablation is a safe, effective treatment for early-stage lung cancer, according to a study published in the journal Radiology. The results show that ablation may be an effective alternative for patients who cannot undergo lung cancer surgery because of age or health status.

Non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) accounts for approximately 85 percent of all cases of lung cancer, the leading cause of cancer-related mortality worldwide. Surgery is the treatment of choice for early-stage disease, but older patients and those with other conditions may not be ideal candidates due to a higher risk of complications.

Stereotactic radiotherapy (SRT), in which tumor cells are destroyed with targeted doses of radiation, typically over several visits, is a viable alternative in these patients, but the radiation sometimes harms healthy tissue surrounding the tumor and carries a risk of short-term and long-term toxicities.

Thermal ablation offers another option, in which a probe is inserted directly into the tumor under precise imaging guidance. Cancer-killing treatment is then applied in the form of extreme heat, extreme cold or radio waves that destroy the tumor.

“Thermal ablation is most often a one-time treatment, unlike SRT, which requires multiple visits,” said study


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