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Radio Waves Destroy Kidney Cancer Tumors in Trials (Reuters) Destroying cancer tumors with the same energy used to send radio signals has shown promising results in nonsurgical patients, and may gain wider acceptance, researchers said on Tuesday. - Nov 27 12:17 PM ET



Website: http://dailynews.yahoo.com/h/nm/20011127/sc/health_cancer_dc_4.html

Posted on: 11/27/2001

Radio Waves Destroy Kidney Cancer Tumors in Trials

CHICAGO (Reuters) - Destroying cancer tumors with the same energy used to send radio signals has shown promising results in nonsurgical patients, and may gain wider acceptance, researchers said on Tuesday.

The outpatient surgery used an electrode-tipped needle that was guided to the offending tumor with the aid of an X-ray device.

"It is being used to treat prostate, breast, brain, liver and other types of cancers, and I see no reason why it couldn't be used almost anywhere in the body," Jonathan Lewin, a professor of radiology, oncology and neurological surgery at University Hospitals of Cleveland and Case Western Reserve University said in a statement.

Lewin presented the results of three recent studies involving kidney cancer patients who underwent treatment with radio frequency energy to the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America.

Though the technique has been used primarily on patients who cannot have or refuse surgery to remove the diseased organ, "there has been increasing interest in using it as a primary treatment because surgical removal of part of the kidney is such a major procedure," he said.

Using magnetic resonance imagery, Lewin said surgeons can tell immediately whether the tumor has been destroyed or whether they need to make another pass with the needle. The patient is lightly sedated and can usually go home the same day.

The procedure requires between 10 minutes and 30 minutes of contact with the tumor tissue to "cook" a 1- to 3-inch diameter sphere, he said.

The technique works best on smaller tumors, though overlapping spheres can be destroyed in larger tumors, arresting the growth of the cancer. The dead cells then are left in the body as scar tissue and eventually shrink.


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