Interventional Radiology - Original Article

Radiofrequency ablation for lung tumors: outcomes, effects on survival, and prognostic factors


  • Okan Akhan
  • Ezgi Güler
  • Devrim Akıncı
  • Türkmen Çiftçi
  • Ilgaz Çağatay Köse

Received Date: 28.09.2014 Accepted Date: 14.05.2015 Diagn Interv Radiol 2016;22(1):65-71


We aimed to evaluate the survival benefit achieved with radiofrequency (RF) ablation of primary and metastatic lung tumors and determine significant prognostic factors for recurrence-free survival.


Forty-nine patients with lung cancer (10 primary and 39 metastatic) underwent computed tomography-guided percutaneous RF ablation between June 2005 and October 2013. A total of 112 tumors (101 metastatic and 11 primary non-small cell lung cancer) were treated with RF ablation. Tumor diameter ranged from 0.6 to 4 cm (median 1.5 cm). Effectiveness of treatment, complications, and survival were analyzed.


Primary success rate was 79.5% and local tumor progression occurred in 23 tumors. Among tumors showing progression, 10 were re-treated with RF ablation and secondary success rate was 87.5%. One-, two-, and three-year overall survival rates of 10 patients with primary lung cancer were 100%, 86%, and 43%, respectively. One-, two-, three-, four-, and five-year overall survival rates for 39 patients with metastatic lung tumors were 90%, 73%, 59%, 55%, and 38%, respectively. One-, two-, three-, and four-year overall survival rates for 16 patients with colorectal pulmonary metastases were 94%, 80%, 68%, and 23%, respectively. Complications occurred in 30 sessions (24.6%). Pneumothorax occurred in 19 sessions with seven requiring image-guided percutaneous chest tube drainage. Tumor status (solitary or multiple) and presence of extrapulmonary metastasis at initial RF ablation were significant prognostic factors in terms of recurrence-free survival.


RF ablation is a safe and effective treatment with a survival benefit for selected patients with primary and secondary lung tumors.