Targeted Radiofrequency (t-RFA) Ablation FAQs

What is a metastatic spinal tumor?

Metastatic spinal tumors are neoplasms located in the vertebrae that are associated with a wide range of primary cancers, from breast, lung, and prostate to sarcomas, carcinomas, and hematological diseases.

How will patients recognize metastatic spinal tumor symptoms?

Symptoms often include mild to severe pain, numbness, and even paralysis as metastatic spine tumors weaken or fracture the vertebrae and affect the surrounding soft tissue.

Which patients may be canidates for targeted Radiofrequency Ablation (t-RFA)?

While any patient with focalized pain from a metastatic spinal tumor in a vertebra may be a candidate for t-RFA, several specific patient groups will likely benefit most from the procedure.

These include patients:
  •  with radio-resistant tumors.
  •  with recurrent pain after radiation therapy.
  •  with posterior vertebral body metastatic tumors.
  •  who have reached their radiation dose limit.
  •  with focalized pain and symptoms that are preventing palliative radiation.
  •  who cannot undergo other palliative treatments due to current systemic therapies.

How will patients benefit from t-RFA?

t-RFA delivers meaningful pain relief and focused tumor destruction in a single treatment, often in an outpatient setting.

With the STAR System, physicians have the control to create site-specific ablation zones and monitor real-time ablation zone development within the vertebral body, an area that could otherwise be difficult to access and treat in a minimally invasive manner.

Compatible with systemic therapies, t-RFA expands the range of treatment options for patients with painful spinal tumors.

What t-RFA risks should I be concerned about?

Patients undergoing radiofrequency ablation are subject to risks associated with surgery including complications from anesthesia/sedation, as well as bleeding, bruising, pain and infection. Additional complications could include: blood clots, collapsed lungs, and damage to normal tissue, nerves, the spinal cord or other structures resulting in injuries including paralysis.

How long does a t-RFA take?

The entire procedure routinely typically takes less than 60 minutes.

How soon after t-RFA can patients resume normal activities?

Recovery times for a minimally invasive procedure, such as t-RFA using the STAR Tumor Ablation System, are measured in hours and days, rather than weeks or months.  However, recovery time for each patient will vary.  As you monitor each patient, you can help him or her determine when he or she can return to normal activities.