radiofrequency ablation, cryotherapy, SIRT (Selective Intern

Hi everyone,
I was just wondering if anybody has had radiofrequency ablation, Cryotherapy or SIRT? My breast care nurse has said that surgery & radiotherapy is not an option for me as I have nodules ‘splattered’ throughout my lungs & liver. I am thinking that these are probably not an option either but I am going to ask my onc on Thurs & any advice on this would be very useful to me. Thanks Lisa x

Hi Lisa,
Sorry to see nobody responded to your thread yet. These are quite rare treatments so there aren’t that many of us.
I’ve had RFA to my liver, in March this year (there’s lots more info on a thread with RFA in the title, in secondary ‘treatments and medical issues’ I think).
I think the criteria were that you had to have 4 or less tumours on your liver, and no other spread elsewhere (or it had to be stable and controlled)and of a certain size. It sounds like you may not be eligible because of your ‘splatter’ effect. I think SIRT is another very targeted treatment to a localised area, so would work best for 1 or 2 tumours in a confined area. I don’t know anything about cryotherapy.
I hope you had a helpful discussion with your onc today, and have a way forward.
All the best
Jacquie x

Hi Jacquie,
Thanks for your response. My Onc said I had 10 tumors in my liver & 4 in my lungs. I mentioned RFA to her & she said that she would like to try chemo first but she didn’t dismiss it. In fact she said she had sent a patient to Liverpool. So fingers crossed.
Please can I ask you how your treatment went? Was it effective?
Lisa x

Hi Lisa

Just wanted to chip in as i’ve had two lots of successful RFA treatment to my liver to treat 9 small mets which i think were dispersed in different areas so harder to treat (I also have bone mets). I think although there are general guidelines about the maximum number of lesions these are only guidelines and the specialist at University College Hospital in London where i was treated certainly considers each referral on an individual basis. i had 6 lots of taxotere that finished in January of this year and was approved for RFA in April. I had had a partial response to chemo which reduced the size of the tumours in my liver and resulted in no active disease in my bones, which is why i think they were happy to treat. I otherwise generally felt and still feel well aside from some residual tiredness from the chemo and side effects from arimidex.

I had 6 mets treated during the first RFA procedure so it was very painful and made my liver swell up, took about 10 days to feel relatively normal again. I had a second treatment about 6 weeks later which was easier as I had 3 mets treated that time. Both were done under general anaesthetic and when i woke up i needed oromorph to control the pain. I took co-codamol for about a week afterwards.

My last scan showed that the treated areas are healing nicely but there is still a small amount of tumour present that they werent able to clear during the first two treatments (I think swelling and scarring makes it difficult to determine clear margins) but according to my specialist this definitely isnt new growth. Im waiting for an appointment to go back a third time and get this treated.

Good luck with your chemo and please do let us know how you are getting on.


Hi Lisa

Just to let you know that I had SIRT in July this year (covered by insurance). I had 4 clusters of tumours in the liver which they originally thought they could use RFA on but one is too close to the portal vein to be safe. So we went for SIRT instead. I’ve now got a largish area of necrosis around each cluster of tumours and they couldn’t really see on the scan in August exactly what had happened to the tumours themselves. Having another scan next month when it should be clearer - they are quite hopeful that it has “killed” a substantial part of the tumours as well - possibly most.

Obviously you’ve seen your onc now - but if more info would be useful, I’d be happy to give it.

All the best Kay

Hi Lisa . I have made extensive enquiries about radiofrequency ablation , and hospitals here won’t take me as I have 14 lesions spread in my lungs.They are more difficult to access than the liver I beleive. I did find a hospital in Germany that would treat me privately ,and it would mean major surgery twice and not cheap. My oncologist here said that the chances are that I may have micro cancer cells in my system already that are not visible on scans , and I would be going through the risks of major surgery twice, only for it to come back somewhere else in a few months time. I am still sitting on the fence with it and hoping someone may find a wonderful answer!. Good luck with your treatment

Hi Lisa,
In answer to your question, my tumour had already shrunk and was looking pretty dead before RFA, but they scanned it the next morning and said it looked as though they had hit the right area, with a margin around it. That was March. I had another scan in June, and one in Sept, and it still looks good. I’ll be scanned again in December. One unexpected positive outcome is that I’m now being scanned every 3 months (they seem to have lots of resources, as it’s a kind of trial treatment still), and they say they’ll zap me again if it starts to grow again. My scans had dropped to about one every 6 months to a year.
Hope this helps