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Gland Surgery


Background: Radiofrequency ablation (RFA) utilizes minimally invasive high-energy current to precisely ablate tumor cells. It has been utilized in many cancer types including thyroid, lung, and liver cancer. It has been shown to provide adequate ablative margins with minimal complications; however, incomplete RFA may lead to recurrence of tumor. The underlying cellular mechanism and behavior of ablated cancer tissue is poorly understood. Methods: A systematic review was performed, searching EMBASE, Web of Science, PubMed, and Scopus for studies published up to July 2022 and reported following PRISMA guidelines. Collection was performed by two groups of investigators to avoid risk of bias. The Cochrane Collaboration’s tool was used for assessing risk of bias. We identified human, in vivo, and in vitro research studies utilizing RFA for tumor tissues. We required that the studies included at least one of the following: complications, recurrence, or survival, and took interest to studies identifying cellular signaling pathway patterns after RFA. Descriptive statistical analysis was performed in ‘R’ software including mean and confidence interval. Results: The most frequent cancers studied were liver and lung cancers accounting for 57.4% (N=995) and 15.4% (N=267), followed by esophageal (N=190) and breast cancer (N=134). The most common reported complications were bleeding (19%) and post-operative pain (14%). In our literature search, four independent studies showed upregulation and activation of the VEGF pathway following RFA, four showed upregulation and activation of the AKT pathway following RFA, three studies demonstrated involvement of matrix metalloproteinases, and four showed upregulation of c-Met protein following RFA. Conclusions: In our review and meta-analysis, we identify several proteins and pathways of interest of which are important in wound healing, angiogenesis, and cellular growth and survival. These proteins and pathways of interest may implicate areas of research towards RFA resistance and cancer recurrence.

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