Background: A decade ago we reported the first use of laparoscopic radiofrequency thermal ablation (RFA) for the treatment of neuroendocrine hepatic metastases. This study analyzes our 10-year experience and determines characteristics predictive of survival. Methods: Eighty RFA sessions were performed in 63 patients with neuroendocrine hepatic metastases in a prospective trial. All patients had unresectable disease with computed tomography (CT) documented lesion and/or symptom progression. Perioperative morbidity, symptom relief, disease progression, and long-term survival were analyzed. Data are expressed as mean ± standard error of the mean (SEM). Results: There were 22 women and 41 men, age 54.4 ± 1.5 years followed for 2.8 ± 0.3 years (range, 0.1 to 7.8). Tumor types included 36 carcinoid, 18 pancreatic islet cell, and 9 medullary thyroid cancer. RFA was performed 1.6 ± 0.3 years after the diagnosis of liver metastases. Number of lesions treated was 6 ± 0.5 (range, 1 to 16). Forty-nine patients underwent 1 ablation session, and 14 (22%) had repeat sessions caused by disease progression. Mean hospital stay was 1.1 days. Perioperative morbidity was 5%, with no 30-day mortality. Fifty-seven percent of patients exhibited symptoms. One week postoperatively 92% of these reported at least partial symptom relief, and 70% had significant or complete relief. Duration of symptom control was 11 ± 2.3 months. CT follow-up demonstrated 6.3% local tumor recurrence. Larger dominant liver tumor size and male gender adversely impacted survival (P < .05). Median survival times were 11.0 years postdiagnosis of primary tumor, 5.5 years postdiagnosis of neuroendocrine hepatic metastases, and 3.9 years post-1st RFA. Survival for patients undergoing repeat ablation sessions was not significantly lower. Conclusions: This study represents the largest series of neuroendocrine hepatic metastases treated by RFA. In this group of patients with aggressive neuroendocrine tumor metastases and limited treatment options, RFA provides effective local control with prompt symptomatic improvement.
ASJC Scopus subject areas