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Freezing Kidney Cancer: Hot Treatment Should Be New Gold Standard for Destroying Small Tumors
Date:3/9/2009

t are discovered incidentally. "Cryoablation is a great treatment option that doctors should discuss with patients early on," he explained.

The Hopkins studies, examining the safety and efficacy of percutaneous (no incision) cryoablation, show the treatment's powerful results. "Based on the results of our three-year study, we have shown that interventional cryoablation for kidney cancer should be the gold standard or the first treatment option for all patients whose tumors are 4 centimeters or smaller. It should be a viable option for patients whose cancer is even larger than that. And, ablation (or freezing) is a very effective option for patients who cannot or do not want to have surgery," noted Georgiades. Cryoablation's efficacy rate -- the ratio of how many patients' renal cell carcinoma was destroyed completely for localized tumors by size -- is 100 percent up to 4 centimeters (about 2 inches) and nearly 100 percent up to 7 centimeters (about 3 inches). Three localized 10-centimeter (about 4 inches) tumors -- large tumors that are typically removed surgically -- were treated; in two cases the tumor was successfully killed.

"This news is especially significant for individuals with small tumors, since more than 75 percent of patients who are diagnosed with kidney cancer have tumors that are 4 centimeters or less in size," said Georgiades. "These individuals can have their tumors treated completely, effectively, without surgery, with quicker recovery and mostly on an outpatient basis. Whatever the definition of 'cure' is, these results come as close to it as possible," he noted. "At Hopkins, interventional cryoablation is the first-line treatment for small tumors. Most of our patients go home the same day they receive treatment with minimal limitation on regular activities. With laparoscopic kidney surgery, a patient remains in the hospital for several days and recovery time can be from two to four weeks," he added. "Our studies
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SOURCE Society of Interventional Radiology
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