Cryoablation provides pain relief for patients with metastatic tumours

David Prologo

Cryoablation kills tumours and provides pain relief to patients whose cancer has spread to the bone and soft tissue, suggests research being presented at the 6th annual Symposium on Clinical Interventional Oncology (CIO), in collaboration with the International Symposium on Endovascular Therapy (ISET).

Cryoablation is a simple, one-time treatment that destroys painful metastatic tumours. Standard treatments for pain relief in these patients include narcotic medications and radiation therapy, which often interfere with daily quality of life and may require interruption of chemotherapy treatments.

“Pain can take over the lives of cancer patients and relief of that pain through this simple one-day outpatient procedure can significantly improve time with loved ones,” said J David Prologo, lead author of the study, and interventional radiologist at the Centers for Dialysis Care, Cleveland, USA. “It is very rewarding to see how cryoablation can positively and dramatically impact lives.”

In the study performed at University Hospitals Case Medical Center, in Cleveland, 51 patients with breast, kidney, skin, lung, prostate, colon and other cancers received cryoablation therapy to treat 54 metastatic tumours that had spread to the pelvic bones, skull, foot, chest wall, shinbone, thighbone, chest wall and other areas. Of the 51 patients, 49 (96%) reported statistically significant decreases in pain, scoring an average of eight out of 10 on a pain scale before treatment (with one being the least pain and 10 being the most pain) to an average of three out of 10 after treatment. After three months, 48 patients continued to benefit from pain relief, maintaining the average of three out of 10 on the pain scale. On average, patients decreased the amount of narcotics they took for pain by two-thirds after treatment. Six patients suffered from therapy-related complications, including fractures of treated bones and temporary cryoablation-induced damage to nearby tissues.

“There is a huge unmet need for pain relief in cancer patients that improves rather than interferes with their quality of life,” said Prologo. “Cryoablation is quick, simple, safe and effective and patients do not have to miss out on chemotherapy treatments.”