A minimally invasive treatment that quickly freezes and kills tumors
provides pain relief to patients whose cancer has spread to the bone and
soft tissue, suggests research being presented at the 6th
annual Symposium on Clinical Interventional Oncology (CIO), in
collaboration with the International Symposium on Endovascular Therapy
Cryoablation therapy is a simple, one-time treatment that destroys
painful metastatic tumors, meaning cancer that has spread from the
primary site in the breast, kidneys, skin and other areas. Standard
treatments for pain relief in these patients include narcotic
medications and radiation therapy, which often interfere with daily
quality of life and may require interruption of chemotherapy treatments.
"Pain can take over the lives of cancer patients and relief of that pain
through this simple one-day outpatient procedure can signiicantly
improve time with loved ones," said J. David Prologo, M.D., lead author
of the study, and interventional radiologist at the Centers for Dialysis
Care, Cleveland. "It's very rewarding to see how cryoablation can
positively and dramatically impact lives."
In the study, 51 patients with breast, kidney, skin, lung, prostate,
colon and other cancers received cryoablation therapy to treat 54
metastatic tumors that had spread to the pelvic bones, skull, foot,
chest wall, shinbone, thighbone, chest wall and other areas. Of the 51
patients, 49 (96 percent) reported statistically significant decreases
in pain, scoring an average of eight out of 10 on a pain scale before
treatment (with one being the least pain and 10 being the most pain) to
an average of three out of 10 after treatment. After three months, 48
patients continued to benefit from pain relief, maintaining the average
of three out of 10 on the pain scale. On average, patients decreased the
amount of narcotics they took for pain by two-thirds after treatment.
Six patients suffered from therapy-related complications, including
fractures of treated bones and temporary cryoablation-induced damage to
In cryoablation, the physician places a probe through the skin into the
tumor, turns on the device, which creates an iceball and kills the
tissue without destroying the healthy tissue around it. The one-time
treatment takes a few hours.
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