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RSNA: Cryoablation Continues to Show Promise in Oncology

Procedure can effectively treat kidney cancer and reduce pain associated with bone metastases

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 28 (HealthDay News) -- Cryoablation may be an effective treatment for patients with kidney cancer and help reduce pain in patients whose primary tumors have spread to bone, according to two studies presented this week at the Radiological Society of North America annual meeting in Chicago.

Thomas Atwell, M.D., of the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., and colleagues studied 62 patients who underwent cryoablation of 91 kidney tumors. After following the patients for up to 2.5 years, they found that all 62 of them were cancer free. But they pointed out that cryoablation will continue to be reserved for patients who cannot undergo surgery until long-term studies confirm its effectiveness.

Matthew Callstrom, M.D., Ph.D., of the Mayo Clinic, and colleagues studied 34 patients whose primary tumors had spread to bone and who either had not responded to conventional pain therapy or had refused it. After undergoing cryoablation of the bone metastases, 80 percent of the patients had clinically significant reductions in pain scores, which continued throughout follow-ups of up to 24 weeks.

"Cancer patients are living longer and we need to be able to manage their pain over a long period of time," Callstrom said in a statement. He and his colleagues are planning a study in which patients with bone metastases will be randomly assigned to receive either cryoablation or standard radiation therapy.

Callstrom received a research grant from Endocare and Siemens AG.

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