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High-frequency resection treats recurrent thyroid cancer
  • By Constance Williams
  • Published 2017.11.28 13:52
  • Updated 2017.11.28 13:52
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A study has found that radiofrequency ablation, which removes benign “nodules” from the thyroid gland using high frequency instead of surgery, is effective for patients with malignant recurrent thyroid cancer.

Professor Baek Jung-hwan백정한 of Asan Medical Center서울아산병원 Department of Radiology treated 61 patients with recurrent thyroid cancer with high risk for surgery or difficulty operating with radiofrequency ablation from September 2008 to April 2012.

As a result, the cancer rate fell by more than 95 percent and showed excellent treatment results, the hospital said.

Radiofrequency ablation of the recurrent thyroid carcinoma has recently been selected as a new medical technology by the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety식품의약품안전처, as it has proven its efficacy and safety, it added.

Professor Baek Jung-hwan of the Department of Radiology at Asan Medical Center treats a recurrent thyroid cancer patient with high-frequency resection using radiation ablation.

High-frequency resection of the recurrent thyroid cancer is performed under a state of local anesthesia to insert the high-frequency electrode into the recurrent canthus using ultrasonic waves. When a high-frequency current is applied after insertion, frictional heat of about 100 degrees Celsius is generated, which eliminate tumor cells.

If thyroid cancer recurred at the surgical site or on the neck but reoperation is difficult due to aging or other diseases, or if the patient does not want to undergo surgical reoperation, the method can reduce the size of recurrent and ease the symptoms.

In particular, high-frequency resection of thyroid carcinoma in the thyroid gland around the thyroid gland, where the nerves and blood vessels are dense, requires a high-tech treatment technique that effectively destroys cancer tissue and minimizes complications, unlike benign tumors that are localized only in the thyroid gland.

In this study, 39 patients who had recurred thyroid carcinoma in their neck lymph nodes removed the lesion using radiofrequency ablation, which has a global reputation for thyroid radiofrequency ablation. The number of tumors treated with multiple lesions was 61, and the tumors were treated with an average of 95 percent reduction in tumor size.

Recently, patients with high risk for surgery have been advised to use the new treatment alternative for thyroid cancer.

In the study, the oldest patient who underwent radiofrequency ablation for the treatment of recurrent thyroid cancer was 92 years old and was able to relieve symptoms effectively using radiofrequency therapy without surgery, the hospital said.

Also, it has been shown to be effective in controlling various complications of thyroid cancer, such as thyroid cancer invading the bronchial tree, causing dyspnea, or causing a problem of cosmetic outgrowth from the neck, it added.

Although less invasive than surgery, there may be side effects such as “restlessness” or “pain” because of the complicated structure of several major blood vessels and nerves passing around the thyroid gland, and most of them tend to improve themselves, the hospital noted.

"With the increase in the elderly population, patients with relapsed or advanced cancer patients who are at risk or unable to perform surgery have emerged as an important issue in the treatment of recurrent thyroid cancer,” Professor Baek said.

The efficacy and safety of high-frequency radiofrequency in patients with recurrent thyroid cancer have been proven by leading researchers in the world and is recognized globally, so patients with relapses or with other underlying diseases who are at risk for surgery need to consider this treatment, he added.


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