Beaumont's New Microwave Ablation System Another Option for Treating Cancer

3/9/2011

Beaumont Hospital, Royal Oak is the third hospital in the world to use a new microwave ablation system to treat cancer.

Michael Savin, M.D., interventional radiologist, performed Beaumont's first two minimally invasive procedures using the MicroThermX Microwave Ablation System.

"This is a promising, new technology to treat liver cancer," explains Dr. Savin. "It's good to have one more tool in our treatment toolbox. MicroThermX has many advantages- quick set up, ease of use and possibly less side effects. It may prove to be the best option for treating large, inoperable liver and lung tumors more predictably."

The new ablation system kills cancer cells with microwaves. Other ablation treatments use lasers, radiofrequency energy, freezing gas or electricity to burn, freeze or otherwise kill the cancer tissue. These image-guided therapies usually require little time in the hospital. According to Dr. Savin, patients undergoing microwave ablation can usually go home the following day and in some cases, the same day.

The procedure is done under general anesthesia or sedation. Guided by ultrasound or CT images, the physician places a needle applicator into the tumor. Depending on the size of the tumor, the microwave energy usually destroys the cancer in 10 to 15 minutes. Patients may experience less pain afterwards.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has cleared the MicroTherm X, made by BSD Medical Corporation, for ablation of soft tissue.

For more information on microwave ablation treatments call 248-898-4028.

Beaumont's Interventional Radiology and Surgery departments offer patients the latest minimally invasive technology and treatments, with care provided by highly trained physicians, nurses and technicians. Beaumont, Royal Oak is one of the highest-volume surgery centers in the country. Beaumont's comprehensive cancer program combines the expertise of Beaumont Hospitals with the knowledge and experience of physicians in the Beaumont Oncology Network, the largest group of oncology specialists in the state, to offer cancer prevention counseling, diagnosis and treatment in hospital and community-based settings. Beaumont is designated as a Blue Cross Center for Distinction for the Treatment of Rare and Complex Cancers.