BackgroundThe next step in breast-conserving surgery for small breast carcinomas could be local ablation. In this study, the feasibility of ultrasound-guided laser-induced thermal therapy (LITT) is evaluated.MethodsPatients with large-core needle biopsy-proven invasive, palpable breast carcinoma (clinically ≤2 cm) underwent ultrasound-guided LITT, followed by surgical excision. Completeness of ablation was determined by both hematoxylin and eosin staining and nicotinamide adenosine diaphorase staining.ResultsFourteen patients completed the treatment. The mean histological tumor size was 17 mm (range, 8–37 mm); 6 of 14 tumors were histologically larger than the clinical entry threshold of 2 cm. The power applied in all patients was 7 W, and the mean treatment time was 21.4 min (range, 15–30 min). In one patient, a skin burn occurred, and one patient had a localized pneumothorax that could be treated conservatively. In 7 (50%) of 14 patients, the tumor was completely ablated, as confirmed by nicotinamide adenosine diaphorase staining. In 11 cases, extensive in-situ carcinoma was present. In one case, the in-situ carcinoma was also completely ablated. A total of seven (88%) of eight tumors <2 cm in size were completely ablated versus one (17%) of six tumors that were ≥2 cm in size (P = .026).ConclusionsSuccessful LITT of invasive breast cancer seems to be feasible when confined to small (<2 cm) nonlobular carcinomas without surrounding extensive in-situ component and angioinvasion. However, to implement LITT in a curative setting, improvements in imaging to more reliably preoperatively assess tumor size and monitoring of fiber tip placement and treatment affect are essential.