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A meta-analysis of clinical trials assessing the effect of radiofrequency ablation for breast cancer

Authors Chen J, Zhang C, Li F, Xu L, Zhu H, Wang S, Liu X, Zha X, Ding Q, Ling L, Zhou W, Sun X

Received 8 October 2015

Accepted for publication 5 January 2016

Published 23 March 2016 Volume 2016:9 Pages 1759—1766


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Manfred Beleut

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Professor Jianmin Xu

Jiayan Chen,1,* Chi Zhang,1,* Fei Li,1,* Liping Xu,1 Hongcheng Zhu,1 Shui Wang,2 Xiaoan Liu,2 
Xiaoming Zha,Qiang Ding,2 Lijun Ling,Wenbin Zhou,2 Xinchen Sun1

1Department of Radiation Oncology, 2Department of Breast Surgery, The First Affiliated Hospital, Nanjing Medical University, Nanjing, People’s Republic of China

*These authors contributed equally to this work

Background: Radiofrequency ablation (RFA) is a minimally invasive thermal ablation technique. We conducted a meta-analysis based on eligible studies to assess the efficacy and safety of RFA for treating patients with breast cancer.
Methods: A literature search was conducted in PubMed, Embase, and Web of Science databases. Eligible studies were clinical trials that assessed RFA in patients with breast cancer. The outcomes included complete ablation rate, recurrence rate, excellent or good cosmetic rates, and complication rate. A random-effects or fixed-effects model was used to pool the estimate, according to the heterogeneity among the included studies.
Results: Fifteen studies, with a total of 404 patients, were included in this meta-analysis. Pooled results showed that 89% (95% confidence interval: 85%–93%) of patients achieved a complete ablation after RFA treatment and 96% of patients reported a good-to-excellent cosmetic result. Although the pooled result for recurrence rate was 0, several cases of relapse were observed at different follow-up times. No RFA-related complications were recorded, except for skin burn with an incidence of 4% (95% confidence interval: 1%–6%).
Conclusion: This meta-analysis showed that RFA can be a promising alternative option for treating breast cancer since it produces a higher complete ablation rate with a low complication rate. Further well-designed randomized controlled trials are needed to confirm the efficacy and safety of RFA for breast cancer.

Keywords: radiofrequency ablation, breast cancer, meta-analysis

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