Image: The Visual-ICE cryoabpation system (Photo courtesy of BTG).
A new argon-based cryoablation system offers predictable, reliable performance with seamless therapy delivery and ease of technical operation.
The BTG (London, United kingdom) ICEfx Cryoablation System is a minimally invasive, easy-to-use percutaneous cryoablation (PCA) device designed to precisely destroy kidney, prostate, and other types of solid tumors by injecting compressed gases into them using closed-tip cryoablation needles (1.5 mm or 2.4 mm in diameter). A mobile console with a large high definition (HD) touch screen provides an interface to control the circulation of the high-pressure gases, as well as to monitor real-time temperatures through connected thermal sensors, thus helping to protect critical anatomy.
The PCA procedure itself involves ultrasound or computed tomography (CT) image-guided positioning of the cryoablation needles into the tumors via catheters. Once in position, the pressurized argon gas is delivered into the tumor, effectively killing the cancerous tissue; helium gas is subsequently pumped in to release the needle. A proprietary software algorithm optimizes performance of the cryoablation needles and monitors the ablation zone by differentiating between the surrounding normal tissues and the frozen cancer tissue, which has a lower density.
“BTG has added the most advanced cryoablation technology to its portfolio of minimally invasive therapies, and is currently supporting a number of active clinical research studies in bone, kidney, lung, pain and prostate,” said Peter Pattison, head of interventional oncology at BTG. “We strive to provide health care professionals with easy access to innovative product choices. Our interventional oncology portfolio allows them to select and tailor each clinical solution to match a specific patient need.”
“The ICEfx Cryoablation System is a new, more compact design that simplifies the procedure through a set of user-friendly on-screen prompts,” said interventional radiologist AJ Gunn, MD, of the University of Alabama (Birmingham, USA). “It is easy for my technicians to set up, operate, and shut down. Importantly, this updated version is designed to work with the current line of BTG cryoablation probes, meaning that physicians can still create the reliable ablation zones they have come to expect.”
Argon is a noble inert gas, with its inertness making it very suitable for applications where reactions are not wanted. It was first isolated from air in 1894 by Lord Rayleigh and Sir William Ramsay at University College London by removing oxygen, carbon dioxide (CO2), water, and nitrogen from a sample of clean air. It is the third-most abundant gas in the Earth's atmosphere, more than twice as abundant as water vapor, 23 times more abundant than CO2, and more than 500 times as abundant as neon, another inert gas.