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UAMS surgeon to present breast cancer findings 

Press Release

UAMS Medical Center

UAMS Surgeon to Present Breast Cancer

Research Findings at National Symposium

LITTLE ROCK — V. Suzanne Klimberg, M.D., director of the breast cancer program at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS), will present the results of an innovative breast cancer treatment study at the 29th Annual San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium Dec. 14-17 in San Antonio, Texas.

Klimberg is the principal investigator of a multiphase clinical trial for the new procedure designed to reduce or eliminate the need for follow-up surgery, reduce recurrence of breast cancer at the original site, and even reduce the need for radiation treatment.

Nationwide, about 40 percent of breast cancer patients require a second surgery to remove additional malignant tissue. Recent results of the study from UAMS found that 91 percent of breast cancer patients who underwent breast-conserving surgery followed by radiofrequency ablation (eRFA) did not require a second surgery to remove additional malignant tissue. UAMS is the first hospital to use the procedure to treat breast cancer.

Klimberg presented the preliminary results of the clinical trial at the 92nd Annual Clinical Congress of the American College of Surgeons in Chicago on Oct.10. The study lasted from July 2002-January 2005 and now includes about 90 patients at the UAMS Arkansas Cancer Research Center.

“I believe eRFA represents an important area for further research,” Klimberg said. “Not only will the procedure reduce the need for additional surgery in many cases, it also provides a better cosmetic result.”

Klimberg is chief of the Division of Breast Surgical Oncology at UAMS and a professor in the Departments of Surgery and Pathology. She also is director of the Breast Program at the UAMS’ Arkansas Cancer Research Center as well as director of Breast Fellowship in Diseases of the Breast at UAMS.

eRFA begins with standard removal of the tumor. Then, an RFA probe is inserted and heated to 100 degrees for 15 minutes, creating a one centimeter zone of dead tissue around the cavity. The procedure is intended to give the patient a cancer-free area around the site where the tumor was removed so that a second surgery in the area is unnecessary.

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