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Radio Frequency Ablation

Radio frequency ablation therapy at Oasis of Hope

The most common hyperthermia utilized today, radiofrequency ablation (RFA), uses completely localized, very high temps. The innovator Harry H. LeVeen (s strongly endorsed this method; he did research with superheated ultrasound waves in animals, eradicating tumors altogether without damaging surrounding tissue.

Then, upon studying twenty-one human patients with malignant tumors, he reported that RFA produced tissue necrosis or substantial cancer regression in them all.3 His therapy had elevated temps by 5°C to 9.5°C above that of healthy tissue, and after these results he was sure RFA would be the fourth cancer therapy after surgery, radiation, and chemo. While it’s now established, it’s far from being utilized as he envisioned.

RFA’s high-energy radio waves produce temps between 50°C (122°F) and 100°C (212°F), delivered through a needle-like probe into the tumor to reach ablation.

Ablation is the surgical excision or amputation of a body part or tissue. In RFA, tumor excision is achieved by killing the cancer cells, coagulating its proteins, and destroying the blood vessels—a virtual cooking. The probe determines the hyperthermia’s reach and limit; to date the largest area that can be ablated is a 5-cm-diameter sphere.

The control is such that a couple millimeters outside this sphere of heat the normal tissue is absolutely unaffected. Exposure ranges between ten and thirty minutes, depending on tumor size. Ultrasound, MRI, or CT scans are used to guide and place the probe.

RFA’s limitation is obvious: tumors larger than five centimeters (two inches) across won’t be cooked completely. Theoretically, any tumor reachable by a probe could be treated, but the most commonly targeted are in the liver, kidneys, and lungs, as sufficient data proves efficacy there.

(If there are many tumors, RFA is not indicated.) More areas are being researched. LeVeen published his results in 1976; though we still don’t have long-term post-RFA outcomes, preliminary results are encouraging.

With RFA we can treat tumors that can’t be surgically removed due to location or poor health. RFA isn’t cheap, but it’s affordable compared to new drugs; it also can be an outpatient procedure and can be used in conjunction with radiation, chemo, surgery, and alternative agents.

Radio Frequency Ablation Therapy FAQs

Q : How can I get more information about Radio Frequency Ablation Therapy at Oasis of Hope?

A : The easiest way is to fill out the form on the right-hand side of this page screen or you can also call us free of charged at +1 619 690 8409.