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

at their cancer," noted Georgiades. When comparing the rate of complications between percutaneous cryoablation and surgery, Georgiades said that none of the patients who had cryoablation developed new or metastatic disease and they had fewer complications. The minimally invasive nature of interventional cryoablation means that it can be performed with minimal blood loss and without an incision, just a tiny hole in the skin. The interventional radiology treatment translates into significantly less pain, a shorter hospital stay and more rapid recovery. This safe treatment can be repeated, if necessary. The most common complication is a bruise around the kidney that goes away by itself, he said.

In studying cryoablation's efficacy, researchers looked at 90 tumors in 84 patients. Efficacy was determined based on a tumor's size at 3-, 6- and 12-month clinic visits and then yearly -- with follow-up imaging with CT or MRI scans. Both efficacy and three-year survival rates approach 100 percent overall.

In studying cryoablation's safety, Georgiades studied the results of 101 percutaneous cryoablations on 91 patients who either couldn't undergo surgery or elected the interventional radiology treatment. Using computed tomography (CT) imaging, researchers could view tumors and probes in real time. Interventional cryoablation "has an excellent safety profile," said Georgiades.

Cryoablation is typically performed under light anesthesia, known as sedation, by an interventional radiologist who has consulted with the patient's urologist. One or more hollow needles are inserted through the skin directly into a tumor. Interventional radiologists can observe and guide the insertion by combined use of ultrasound and CT. The needle, or cryoprobe, is filled with argon gas, which creates an ice ball, which rapidly freezes the tumor. The tumor is then thawed by replacing the argon with helium. The procedure consists of two freezing and on
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SOURCE Society of Interventional Radiology
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