January 17, 2014
Study Supports Cryoablation to Treat Painful Tumors
January 18, 2014—Cryoablation provides pain relief to patients whose cancer has spread to the bone and soft tissue, according to research presented at the 6th annual Symposium on Clinical Interventional Oncology, in collaboration with ISET 2014: the 26th annual International Symposium on Endovascular Therapy.
The lead author of the study is J. David Prologo, MD, interventional radiologist at the Centers for Dialysis Care in Cleveland, Ohio. In the ISET press release, Dr. Prologo commented, “Pain can take over the lives of cancer patients, and relief of that pain through this simple 1-day outpatient procedure can significantly improve time with loved ones. It’s very rewarding to see how cryoablation can positively and dramatically impact lives.”
In the study performed at University Hospitals Case Medical Center in Cleveland, 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%) 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 3 months, 48 patients continued to benefit from this therapy, 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 nearby tissues.
“There is a huge unmet need for pain relief in cancer patients that improves rather than interferes with their quality of life,” stated Dr. Prologo. “Cryoablation is quick, simple, safe, and effective, and patients don’t have to miss out on chemotherapy treatments.”
Cryoablation therapy is a simple, one-time treatment that destroys painful metastatic tumors. In cryoablation, the interventionist 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 treatment takes a few hours. 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, advised the ISET announcement.