Cryosurgery or cryo-ablation involves introducing needles that freeze targeted areas of the body to extremely cool temperatures (-190 Celsius) in order to kill cancer cells. The mechanism of this destruction includes disruption of the cell wall, organelles within the cell and prohibiting blood from circulating.
With the advent of newer delivery systems and ultrasound guidance, one can destroy a focal area of tissue/cancer with accuracy up to 2.5 mm. This technology was first described in 1966 but did not gain popularity until the late 1990’s when mobile targeting imaging modalities became more readily available and our access techniques improved. This technology has now been FDA approved and found to be very effective in treating localized prostate cancer as well as select kidney cancers.
Prostate Cancer Cryo-ablation Prostate cancer affects 1 out of 6 men in their lifetime. There are many options to treat prostate cancer. Depending on age, risk factors, medical co-morbidities and if the cancer is localized to the prostate, cryoablation of the prostate can be an excellent treatment choice. It can be used as a first-line treatment for localized prostate cancer or to treat recurrent localized prostate cancer having failed radiation treatment.
As primary treatment for prostate cancer, cryoablation has been found to be equally effective to other standard therapies for low grade prostate cancers. For high-grade cancers, cryotherapy appears to be more efficacious than conformal radiation therapy. In early studies, it appears to be equally effective to surgical removal of the prostate for high grade cancers as well, however, long-term data are lacking.