Thyroid RFA History 101: Where is the United States in the Development and Use of Radiofrequency Ablation of thyroid nodules and Cancer? Sadly Nowhere.
While the big name companies who we won’t name were looking to make big $$$ in cancer treatment with long thick probes to reach the liver and other organs, across the Pacific the beginning of RFA for the little ignored thyroid gland was being researched by a group of interventional radiologists/thyroidologists in Seoul Korea beginning in 2002. This is amazing as it is 2017 and there is still no viable system that can do delicate work in the neck in the USA.
2002- First RFA of a benign thyroid nodule by Dr.J.H.Baek in Seoul Korea.
Professor Baek at his RFA Workshop.
2004-First presentation of RFA for thyroid nodules at meeting in Chicago IL USA.
2007-First Hands on RFA workshop in Seoul Korea
2008- Introduction of RFA for thyroid at European thyroid Association in Greece.
2009- Introduction of thyroid RFA to Asia Oceania thyroid association in Japan.
2010- Introduction of thyroid RFA to International Congress of Endocrinology in Japan.
2010- Complications of thyroid RFA presented at International Thyroid Congress in Paris.
2011- First Master’s class on thyroid RFA in Rome.
2012-Second Master’s Class in Thyroid RFA in Lisbon.
2013- Presentation of new applications for the use of thyroid RFA at European Conference of Interventional Oncology in Budapest.
2013 – Third Master’s class in thyroid RFA in Barcelona.
2014- Thyroid RFA introduced at Asian Conference on Tumor Ablation in Taipei Taiwan.
2014 Fourth Master’s class in Santiago Spain
2014 Hands on workshop for thyroid RFA in Glasgow UK.
2015 Thyroid RFA Master’s classes in Seoul, Nice France, and Fukuoka Japan.
2016- RFA for thyroid cancers in Seoul Korea. Also three more introductions or classes in Dublin Ireland, Barcelona, and Seoul Korea.
2017- Finally not since 2004 has a thyroid RFA been the subject of a course or introduction of new research in the USA.
2017 -Introduction of Thyroid RFA Society of Interventional Radiologists Washington DC USA.
2017- Ethanol Ablation and RFA for thyroid disease at Thyroid association of Asia and Oceania in Busan Korea.
2018- Society of Interventional Radiologists will meet in Los Angeles and have a RFA workshop by Dr.J.H.Baek
DR.Baek’s Guidebook on RFA for thyroid nodules and cancer is the best source of information on the subject.
Comment: Why has thyroid been ignored? It was felt to be less profitable for the big boys and repeatedly refused to fund Thyroid research or even develop smaller thyroid probes for the use in the neck.
Personal experience over three years being turned down for grant money.
Richard Guttler MD,FACE,ECNU