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Cryoablation Promising for Early Breast Cancer

MONDAY, May 3, 2021 -- Cryoablation seems promising for early breast cancer and has minimal risks, according to a study presented at the annual meeting of the American Society of Breast Surgeons, held virtually from April 29 to May 2.

Richard E. Fine, M.D., from the West Cancer Center & Research Institute in Germantown, Tennessee, and colleagues examined the safety and efficacy of cryoablation for women aged 60 years and older with unifocal, ultrasound-visible invasive ductal carcinoma ≤1.5 cm in size; tumors were hormone receptor-positive, human epidermal growth factor receptor 2-negative. One hundred ninety-four patients (mean age, 75 years; mean tumor size, 7.4 mm) met the eligibility criteria and received successful cryoablation treatment per protocol, receiving a freeze-thaw-freeze cycle for 20 to 40 minutes. Patients were followed up at six months and then annually to five years.

The researchers observed no significant device-related adverse events or complications reported among the protocol-treated patients. Most adverse events were minor. Fifteen patients underwent sentinel lymph node biopsies; one had breast cancer-related positive sentinel lymph nodes, with no recurrence at 60 months of follow-up. Overall, 27, one, and 148 patients underwent adjuvant radiation, received chemotherapy, and began endocrine therapy, respectively. During the follow-up visits, more than 95 percent of patients and 98 percent of physicians reported satisfaction from the cosmetic results. Only four of the protocol-treated patients had recurred at a mean of 34.83 months of follow-up (2.06 percent overall recurrence rate).

"Cryoablation potentially represents a dramatic improvement in care for appropriate low-risk patients, and at three years' posttreatment, the ICE3 trial results are extremely positive," Fine said in a statement.

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