Studies involving patients with breast cancer, diagnosed using fine-needle aspiration or core needle biopsy were eligible for inclusion. The included studies involved patients with invasive or noninvasive breast cancer measuring between 0.5 and 3.0 centimetres, or locally advanced stage III breast cancer measuring between 4.0 and 7.0 centimetres. The patients were aged between 33 and 80 years, and tumours were situated 1 cm or more from the skin or skin and chest wall, where stated.
Studies using RFA were eligible for inclusion. The included studies used different generators and electrode probes, with or without temperature feedback, and used ultrasound to monitor the adequacy of ablation. Mean times for RFA ranged from 13.8 to 30 minutes, and initial power settings from 10 to 36 watts, with a maximum of approximately 60 watts. Time intervals between RFA and the excision of breast lesions were immediate or between 1 and 3 weeks.
No inclusion criteria were specified for the outcomes of interest or study design. The included studies were phase II trials that reported the percentage of complete tumour ablation and surgical complications.
The authors did not state how the papers were selected for the review, or how many reviewers performed the selection.