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Liquid Nitrogen Cryoablation System Treats Kidney Tumors

By HospiMedica International staff writers
Posted on 02 Apr 2019
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Image: A tumor “IceBall” created during cryoablation treatment (Photo courtesy of IceCure Medical).
Image: A tumor “IceBall” created during cryoablation treatment (Photo courtesy of IceCure Medical).
A minimally invasive cryoablation system uses next generation liquid nitrogen (LN2) technology to enable the treatment of benign and cancerous tumors by freezing, without surgery.

The IceCure Medical (Caesarea, Israel) ProSense cryoablation system uses extreme cold to freeze tumors using a cryoprobe that delivers LN2 gas--which has a sub-zero boiling point--to the tip, which absorbs tissue-generated heat until the tissue freezes, forming an “ice-ball.” A computer-controlled regulator modulates the flow of LN2 gas, generating a “freeze-thaw-freeze” cycle that weakens cell wall membranes. As a result, they rupture, and intracellular antigens can trigger cell-specific immune responses and platelets can block adjacent capillaries, cutting off the tumor’s blood supply.

By replacing traditional argon gas, with a boiling point of -185.8° C, with liquid nitrogen, which boils at 196° C, the cryoablative effect is enhanced. This also eliminates the need for large storage tanks that are required for argon, as LN2 remains stable at room temperature under very low pressure. A very thin 3.4 mm cryoprobe is used to prevent scar formation and, coupled with the analgesic effect of extreme cold, pain and the need for anesthesia are prevented. The necrotic debris is eventually reabsorbed by the body, leaving no artifacts to complicate diagnostic accuracy.

In a recent study presented at the 34th annual European Association of Urology Congress, held during March 2019 in Barcelona (Spain), the ProSense system proved safe, effective, and devoid of serious adverse events in the treatment of small kidney tumors. Of 74 patients with 78 small kidney masses (less than four 4 cm in diameter), the ProSense system showed treatment success by lack of enhancement on computerized tomography (CT) or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in 93% of cases at one year follow-up.

“The ProSense system enables a safe, efficient, and short minimal-invasive procedure that preserves renal function,” said senior author Professor Ofer Nativ, MD, head of the Bnei Zion Hospital (Haifa, Israel) urology department. “There were over 400,000 new cases worldwide in 2018. The ProSense system adds a viable option to treat renal cancer in patients who have at least one comorbidity, had surgeries in the past, or are a subject to multiple renal masses.”

Related Links:
IceCure Medical
Bnei Zion Hospital

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