SUNDAY, April 14 (HealthDay News) -- A method designed to target, freeze and destroy a tumor's cellular function seems effective in combating lung tumors, a small ongoing study finds.
At least in the short-run -- meaning three months after the procedure -- the intervention known as "cryoablation" appeared to kill all targeted tumors that had spread to the lung from elsewhere, preliminary results suggest.
However, some patients developed new tumors in that time period, the researchers noted.
The study authors cautioned that while the initial findings are encouraging, the treatment should not be seen as a cure for this type of metastatic (spreading) lung disease. Rather, they said that for certain patients who may not be eligible for more standard surgical approaches, the therapy has potential as an alternative means for offering an improved quality of life for a longer period of time.
"'Promising' is the perfect way to describe our findings," said study lead author Dr. David Woodrum, an interventional radiologist at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. "But whether or not this minimally invasive approach would ultimately become a primary method of treatment in the future will depend on the long-term results of this trial, which is still under way. At this point I would say that cryoablation has the most applicability as a kind of last-ditch treatment for patients who are not good surgical candidates for a variety of reasons."
Woodrum and his colleagues are scheduled to discuss their findings Sunday in New Orleans at the annual meeting of the Society of Interventional Radiology. Funding for their work was provided by Galil Medical, a medical device manufacturer based in Arden Hills, Minn.
Because this study was presented at a medical meeting, the conclusions should be considered preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed journal.
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