Comparison of the Effectiveness of Radiofrequency Ablation With Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy in Inoperable Stage I Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer: A Systemic Review and Pooled Analysis

Nan Bi, Kerby Shedden, Xiangpeng Zheng, Feng Ming Kong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

29 Scopus citations


Purpose To performed a systematic review and pooled analysis to compare clinical outcomes of stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT) and radiofrequency ablation (RFA) for the treatment of medically inoperable stage I non-small cell lung cancer. Methods and Materials A comprehensive literature search for published trials from 2001 to 2012 was undertaken. Pooled analyses were performed to obtain overall survival (OS) and local tumor control rates (LCRs) and adverse events. Regression analysis was conducted considering each study's proportions of stage IA and age. Results Thirty-one studies on SBRT (2767 patients) and 13 studies on RFA (328 patients) were eligible. The LCR (95% confidence interval) at 1, 2, 3, and 5 years for RFA was 77% (70%-85%), 48% (37%-58%), 55% (47%-62%), and 42% (30%-54%) respectively, which was significantly lower than that for SBRT: 97% (96%-98%), 92% (91%-94%), 88% (86%-90%), and 86% (85%-88%) (P<.001). These differences remained significant after correcting for stage IA and age (P<.001 at 1 year, 2 years, and 3 years; P=.04 at 5 years). The effect of RFA was not different from that of SBRT on OS (P>.05). The most frequent complication of RFA was pneumothorax, occurring in 31% of patients, whereas that for SBRT (grade ≥3) was radiation pneumonitis, occurring in 2% of patients. Conclusions Compared with RFA, SBRT seems to have a higher LCR but similar OS. More studies with larger sample sizes are warranted to validate such findings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1378-1390
Number of pages13
JournalInternational Journal of Radiation Oncology Biology Physics
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Aug 1 2016


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiation
  • Oncology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Cancer Research

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