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Cryosurgery – Freeze Therapy For Lung Cance

Dr. Omar Maiwand and his team from Royal Brompton and Harefield NHS Trust have found Cryosurgery effective in removing tumor// in lung cancer patients. The Harefield team has so far operated 16 patients using this freezing technology. Cryosurgery is undergone in patients where conventional surgical removal of tumor mass is not possible. It is estimated that about 20% of patients removing the diseased lung is not possible due to severe breathing problems for whom Cryosurgery would be helpful.

The cryosurgery procedure involves making a cut of about 12 cm in the chest wall so the probe can be advanced directly onto the tumour which makes the tumor in to an ice ball. Liquid nitrogen is used as a coolant to freeze the tumour, which then disintegrates within the body over the next three to six month - which the scientists do not think is dangerous, with patients so far having good results. The surgery is less invasive than the conventional way and the recovery time is typically shorter - patients treated with the direct pulmonary cryosurgery can go home after four days.

Cryosurgery is not a new technique and has been used on other organs and tissues in the body but it is for the first time used in the treatment of lung cancer for which encouraging results are obtained as seven of these had the operation over a year ago and are still disease free. Mr. Maiwand is hopeful that he can operate more than 2,000 lung cancer patients a year with this new cryosurgery.

Experts View:
Dr Siow Ming Lee, lung cancer expert from Cancer Research UK, said: 'This is an interesting approach for patients who are not considered suitable for surgery because their tumors are more advanced than expected but this was a small study and further studies are needed to clarify the role of direct cryosurgery versus the conventional approach of radiotherapy and chemotherapy, before it can be recommended for patients whose tumors are found to be inoperable.' '"/>




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