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Cryoablation Technique Can Treat Some Kidney Tumors

Researchers say it may be an alternative to surgery in selected patients

MONDAY, May 1 (HealthDay News) -- In selected patients with kidney tumors, percutaneous cryoablation -- a relatively non-invasive technique in which cryoprobes are inserted through the skin to freeze the tumor -- may be an alternative to surgery, according to research presented this week at the annual meeting of the American Roentgen Ray Society in Vancouver, Canada.

Thomas Atwell, M.D., of the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., and colleagues used percutaneous cryoablation guided by a combination of ultrasound and computed tomography to treat 59 kidney tumors up to 7 cm in size in 58 patients.

The researchers found that the procedure destroyed 57 of the 59 tumors, resulting in a 95 percent success rate. After an average follow-up of nine months, the researchers evaluated 42 patients and found no tumor progression. But they cautioned that the procedure may not be suitable for treating larger tumors or those adjacent to internal organs that could be injured by the process. Three patients experienced hemorrhage directly attributable to the cryoablation, and a total of five patients had significant complications.

"Based on our early experience, percutaneous kidney cryoablation appears to provide an important alternative method of kidney tumor treatment for select patients," Atwell said in a statement. "Longer-term follow-up will be necessary to determine true treatment durability."

Abstract (#070)

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