(October 3, 2013) A procedure called targeted-Radiofrequency Ablation (t-RFA) for bone metastatic lesions on the spine has provided immediate pain relief for cancer patients, according to Sandeep Bagla, MD, interventional radiologist at Inova Mount Vernon and Inova Alexandria hospitals.
Being able to target spine tumors with this procedure means that doctors can relieve pain and immediately give cancer patients a better quality of life. Patients with all types of cancers — from breast cancer to multiple myeloma — benefit from the procedure because many cancers metastasize and cause lesions on the spine. “Any patient with back pain and a diagnosis of cancer to the lower spine or backbone may be a candidate,” says Dr. Bagla.
This is a major advancement for patients when compared to traditional treatments, which “involve placing a needle into the bones of the spinal column and administering medical-grade cement after destroying the tumor with radiofrequency ablation,” he says. Traditional pain relief treatments include spine radiation, which can take up to two to three weeks to produce effects and may fail to provide pain relief in a portion of patients.
The t-RFA procedure can be performed outpatient with local anesthesia through a small incision. The patient can leave the same day.
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