“Effective microwave ablation treatment in the treatment of liver cancer”
A research team from Yeouido St. Mary’s Hospital has demonstrated the effectiveness of ultra-high frequency thermotherapy in treating liver cancer for the first time in Korea.
High frequency heat treatment has been a typical cure for liver cancer by using an electrode needle to penetrate cancer cells and killing cancer cells with 60-100 degree Celsius heat. However, the treatment had limitations in treating liver cancer that was large or near blood vessels.
To address this issue, doctors have recently turned to microwave ablation as an alternative treatment that complements the limitations of radiofrequency ablation. The method uses an electromagnetic field which can quickly treat a larger area with high temperature, affecting the surrounding tissues including blood vessels less.
Yet, no studies have compared the actual results of the two treatments in Korea.
Accordingly, the research team, led by Professors Jo Se-hyeon from the Department of Gastroenterology and Professor Jeong Dong-jin from the Department of Radiology, analyzed the treatment effect after the two treatments were implemented. Professor Lee Soon-gyu also participated in the study.
The research team compared and analyzed the two-year disease-free survival rate, cure rate, two-year survival rate, and incidence of complications in 150 patients diagnosed with liver cancer or recurrent liver in hospital from 2014 to 2021. .
The result showed that the one-year and two-year disease-free survival rates were significantly higher in the microwave ablation group than in the high-frequency heat treatment group.
There was no difference between the two treatments in terms of cure rate, two-year survival rate, and overall complication rate, while serious complications were fewer in the microwave ablation group. .
Especially, when the liver cancer cells spread around the blood vessels or the recurrence rate is high and the cancer cell size is small, the microwave ablation treatment has shown a disease-free survival rate higher than that of high-frequency heat treatment.
“We will improve the prognosis and quality of life of liver cancer patients by developing safer and more effective treatment methods in real clinical practice,” said Professor Jo.
Professor Lee said: “This is a significant finding that demonstrates the efficacy and safety of microwave ablation therapy in reducing the recurrence of liver cancer, and provides a practical basis for plan a personalized treatment for each liver cancer patient.
The Journal of Clinical Medicine published the study results in its latest issue.