Frozen balls of ice without any harm can kill cancerous tumors which have spread to the lungs, as shown by the first prospective multicenter trial of cryoablation. The outcome are presented with the Society of Interventional Radiology’s 38th Annual Scientific Meeting in New Orleans.
“Cryoablation has potential as a treatment for cancer that has spread to the lungs from other parts of the body and could prolong the lives of patients who are running out of options,” said David A. Woodrum, M.D., Ph.D., an author of the study and interventional radiologist at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. “We may not be able to cure the cancer, but with cryoablation we can at least slow it down significantly and allow patients to enjoy greater quality of life longer,” he added. Metastatic lung disease is difficult to treat and often signals a poor prognosis for patients.
In the initial connection between the study, known as the ECLIPSE trial (Evaluating Cryoablation of Metastatic Lung/Pleura Tumors in Patients—Safety and Efficacy), 22 subjects having a total of 36 tumors were treated with 27 cryoablation sessions. Cryoablation was 100 percent effective in killing those tumors at three-month follow-up. Follow-up at a few months on 5 of the 22 patients (23 percent) showed the treated tumors to nevertheless be dead. Cryoablation is performed by an interventional radiologist having a small needle-like probe guided through a nick in the skin to cancerous tumors inside lung under medical imaging guidance.
These tumors have spread—or metastasized—towards lung from primary cancers in other locations from the body. Once set up, the tip of the instrument is cooled with gas to only minus 100 degrees Celsius. The resulting halo of ice crystals can destroy cancer by interrupting its cellular function, protecting nearby healthy, delicate lung tissue. Lung cryoablation have been promising partly due to low periprocedural morbidity.
“Most of these patients can go home the day after their cryoablation treatment and resume their normal activities,” Woodrum said, noting that researchers plan to continue to follow patients for up to five years. While cryoablation is being developed for the treatment of metastatic lung cancer, the future looks brighter for individuals who once had nowhere else to turn, said Woodrum, who was assisted in research by Frank Nichols, M.D. and Matthew R. Callstrom, M.D.
Reference: “Evaluating Cryoablation of Metastatic Lung/Pleura Tumors in Patients—Safety and Efficacy (ECLIPSE),” T. de Baere, G. Farouil, Institut de Cancerologie Gustave Roussy, Villejuif Cedex, France; D.A. Woodrum, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn.; F. Abtin, University of California–Los Angeles, Los Angeles, Calif.; P. Littrup, Karmanos Cancer Institute, Detroit, Mich., SIR 38th Annual Scientific Meeting, April 13-18, 2013.
Copyright 2012 Medimoon.com. All rights reserved. No part of this site can be reproduced without our written permission.None found.