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October 11, 1976

Tumor Eradication by Radiofrequency Therapy

Author Affiliations

University of Pittsburgh Pittsburgh

JAMA. 1976;236(15):1690-1691. doi:10.1001/jama.1976.03270160014007

To the Editor.—  We were interested in the article entitled "Tumor Eradication by Radiofrequency Therapy," (235:2198, 1976). Our laboratory has been studying the effect of heat on primary malignant brain tumors. Our research has highlighted certain problems with heat not described in the report published in The Journal.1,2Most temperature measuring devices will be directly heated in the radiofrequency (RF) field and give false readings of intratumoral events. Therefore, special thermistors must be used so as not to distort the absolute values produced. This may be of importance when reviewing the literature and the number of conflicting reports concerning the results.3-5 At 40 C, for instance, enhanced tumor growth with metastatic implants and rapid death occur in the experimental animal.Not all tumors have decreased blood flow—certainly not consistently. Therefore, one doubts the results achieved by the authors to be totally related to tumor blood flow. In the