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SIR: Cryoablation Found Effective for Metastatic Lung Tumors

Study finds cryoablation appears safe for the treatment of cancer that has spread to the lungs

MONDAY, April 15 (HealthDay News) -- Cryoablation appears safe for the treatment of metastatic lung tumors ≤3.5 cm, according to a small study presented at the annual meeting of the Society of Interventional Radiology, held from April 13 to 18 in New Orleans.

Thierry de Baere, M.D., from the Institut de Cancerologie Gustave Roussy in France, and colleagues assessed the safety and efficacy of CT-guided cryoablation in 22 patients (13 males; mean age, 60 years) with pulmonary metastatic disease (29 cryoblation procedures). Fifteen patients had one tumor, five had two to three tumors, and two of the patients had more than three tumors. Twenty of 22 patients had unilateral disease.

The researchers found that the mean tumor size was 1.5 cm. In 17 procedures, general anesthesia was used, and in 10 procedures, conscious sedation was utilized. A mean of 1.9 probes per patient were used with a mean treatment time of 97 minutes. In 27 procedures, four chest tubes were placed. All reported adverse events were classified as CTCAE grade 1 or 2. Pneumothorax (four), pulmonary embolism (seven), and chest wall pain (five) were the most common events occurring within 30 days of the procedure. All adverse effects resolved with minimal to no intervention. No major hemorrhage to the lung or the pleura occurred. The local tumor control rate was 100 percent at a median follow-up time of three months, with six patients demonstrating new distant tumor at three months.

"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," coauthor David A. Woodrum, M.D., Ph.D., said in a statement.

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