Ultrasound-Guided bipolar radiofrequency ablation ofbreast cancer in inoperable patients: A pilot study

B. Brkljacic*, I. Cikara, G. Ivanac, A. Hrkac Pustahija, R. Zic, Z. Stanec

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: Radiofrequency ablation (RFA) is a promising minimal invasive modality to treat small breast cancer (BCA). In most studies cancers were surgically excised shortly after RFA. We present six patients inoperable when diagnosed with BCA, and performed RFA instead of surgery. Materials and Methods: Ultrasound-guided bipolar RFA was performed under local anesthesia in six women aged 63 85 years. They had core-biopsy proven T 1 2N0 M0, grade I or II, 1.0 2.7 cm sized invasive ductal cancers, with positive estrogen receptor status. Four tumors measured > 2 cm, and three 1.0 1.2 cm in diameter. Patients were at high-risk for general anesthesia and surgery because of severely impaired cardiac function, advanced age, or associated diseases (acute myeloid leukaemia (AML), diabetes, hypertension, depression) and/or refused surgery. Results: Six tumors in five patients were completely ablated, without recurrence during follow-up (range: 9 49 months). One superficially located cancer was partially ablated; the patient died two months later from myocardial infarction. The Patient with AML and BCA had an infection of the treated breast after 4 months and postponed mastectomy to an AML remission status. There were no signs of malignancy in histopathology; the patient finally died of leukemia 42 months after RFA. The remaining four patients are well, without complications. Conclusion: Ultrasound-guided percutaneous RFA under local anesthesia is an effective alternative to surgery for BCA < 3 cm in patients with a high-risk for surgery.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)156-162
Number of pages7
JournalUltraschall in der Medizin
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2010

Other keywords

  • Breast
  • Radiofrequency (RF) ablation
  • Ultrasound


Dive into the research topics of 'Ultrasound-Guided bipolar radiofrequency ablation ofbreast cancer in inoperable patients: A pilot study'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this