Cryotherapy for Breast Cancer
Columbia’s Dr. Margaret Chen has been studying laser ablation, a technique that uses heat to burn away breast cancer cells. Now she is exploring cryotherapy to freeze them. In all previous ablation trials, using laser or cryotherapy, the standard has been “ablate and then resect.” Each participant had her tumor surgically removed to see if the treatment was successful. This will be the first trial where patients just receive the ablation therapy, without follow-up surgery.
“Participants will be very closely monitored with MRI scans and mammography to detect any problems early on so we can provide treatment when necessary,” says Dr. Sheldon Feldman, Chief of the Division of Breast Surgery.
This trial is part of a multicenter study focusing on breast cancer patients who are older and more frail. Adds Dr. Feldman, “Our question is: Can we avoid surgery for women who are less able to tolerate it—and avoid over-treating cancers that are unlikely to pose a serious threat?” The technology used in this trial is made by Ice-Cure Medical Ltd.