Radiofrequency Ablation in Treating Patients With Unresectable Primary or Metastatic Liver Cancer

This study has been completed.
Information provided by:
National Institutes of Health Clinical Center (CC) Identifier:
First received: July 11, 2001
Last updated: May 11, 2012
Last verified: April 2012

RATIONALE: Radiofrequency ablation is a procedure that heats tumors to several degrees above body temperature and may kill tumor cells.

PURPOSE: Phase II trial to study the effectiveness of radiofrequency ablation in treating patients who have unresectable primary or metastatic liver cancer.

Condition Intervention Phase
Liver Cancer
Metastatic Cancer
Unspecified Adult Solid Tumor, Protocol Specific
Procedure: computed tomography
Procedure: magnetic resonance imaging
Procedure: positron emission tomography
Procedure: radiofrequency ablation
Procedure: radionuclide imaging
Procedure: ultrasound imaging
Radiation: fludeoxyglucose F 18
Radiation: gadopentetate dimeglumine
Phase 2

Study Type: Interventional
Study Design: Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: The Use of Radiofrequency Ablation to Treat Hepatic Neoplasms

Resource links provided by NLM:

Further study details as provided by National Institutes of Health Clinical Center (CC):

Primary Outcome Measures:
  • Nature and duration of response [ Designated as safety issue: No ]
  • Treatment effects [ Designated as safety issue: No ]
  • Response as measured by positron emission tomography with fludeoxyglucose F 18 (FDG-PET) after treatment [ Designated as safety issue: No ]
  • Comparison of FDG-PET results with CT scan, biopsy, and serum marker results [ Designated as safety issue: No ]
  • Comparison of FDG-PET performance with CT scan and MRI performance in assessing efficacy of study treatment [ Designated as safety issue: No ]

Enrollment: 58
Study Start Date: August 1998
Primary Completion Date: January 2009 (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)
Detailed Description:


  • Evaluate the nature and duration of response of patients with primary or metastatic liver neoplasms, who are not candidates for surgical resection, treated with radiofrequency interstitial tissue ablation.
  • Evaluate the ability of dynamic magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to assess the effects of this therapy on tumor blood flow and tumor vascular density in these patients.
  • Determine the ability of positron emission tomography with fludeoxyglucose F 18 (FDG-PET) to monitor response after treatment with this therapy in these patients.
  • Compare FDG-PET results with CT scan, biopsy, and serum marker results in patients treated with this therapy.
  • Compare the performance of FDG-PET with CT scan and MRI, in terms of their ability to assess the efficacy of this therapy in these patients.

OUTLINE: Lesions are targeted by ultrasound and then radiofrequency ablation needles are inserted into the lesions and heated to a target temperature greater than 60 degrees C for 15 minutes, though exposure time may vary depending on temperatures achieved. To achieve a 1 cm margin of ablated tissue around each lesion, multiple ablation courses may be performed, depending on the size of the lesions and the time required to complete the treatment.

Patients undergo magnetic resonance imaging with gadopentetate dimeglumine contrast, CT scan, ultrasound, and positron emission tomography with fludeoxyglucose F 18 at baseline, 6 weeks, every 3 months for 1 year, and then every 6 months for 2 years.

Patients are followed at 6 weeks, every 3 months for 1 year, and then every 6 months for 2 years or until evidence of recurrence.

PROJECTED ACCRUAL: A total of 58 patients will be accrued for this study within 6 years.


Ages Eligible for Study:   18 Years and older
Genders Eligible for Study:   Both
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No


  • Histologically confirmed primary or metastatic liver lesions

    • Not a candidate for surgical resection
  • Must have six or fewer lesions and no single lesion greater than 7 cm in diameter
  • Extrahepatic disease allowed



  • 18 and over

Performance status:

  • ECOG 0-2

Life expectancy:

  • At least 3 months


  • Platelet count at least 50,000/mm^3
  • PT or PTT no greater than 1.5 times control (except for therapeutically anticoagulated nonrelated medical conditions [e.g., atrial fibrillation])


  • Bilirubin no greater than 3.0 mg/dL


  • Creatinine no greater than 2.5 mg/dL


  • Not pregnant or nursing
  • Negative pregnancy test
  • No pacemakers, cerebral aneurysm clips, shrapnel injury, or implantable electronic devices
  • No known uncontrollable serious reactions (e.g., anaphylaxis) to contrast agents used in this study
  • Weight less than 136 kg


Biologic therapy:

  • Not specified


  • Not specified

Endocrine therapy:

  • Not specified


  • Not specified


  • Not specified


  • Concurrent systemic therapy for extrahepatic disease is allowed only if begun prior to radiofrequency ablation
  Contacts and Locations
Please refer to this study by its identifier: NCT00019604

United States, Maryland
Warren Grant Magnuson Clinical Center - NCI Clinical Trials Referral Office
Bethesda, Maryland, United States, 20892-1182
Sponsors and Collaborators
Study Chair: Steven K. Libutti, MD NCI - Surgery Branch
  More Information

No publications provided

Responsible Party: Steven A. Libutti, M.D./National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health Identifier: NCT00019604     History of Changes
Obsolete Identifiers: NCT00001795
Other Study ID Numbers: 990025, 99-C-0025, CDR0000066875
Study First Received: July 11, 2001
Last Updated: May 11, 2012
Health Authority: United States: Food and Drug Administration

Keywords provided by National Institutes of Health Clinical Center (CC):
localized unresectable adult primary liver cancer
recurrent adult primary liver cancer
liver metastases
unspecified adult solid tumor, protocol specific

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Liver Neoplasms
Neoplasm Metastasis
Neoplasms, Second Primary
Digestive System Neoplasms
Neoplasms by Site
Digestive System Diseases
Liver Diseases
Neoplastic Processes
Pathologic Processes processed this record on April 15, 2014