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Could freezing tumors be a new treatment for Breast Cancer?

What are your thoughts on this process?

Freezing helps stop breast cancer’s spread in mice,

U-M study finds: Clinical trial open now to evaluate

technique in humans

By Kalamazoo Gazette staff

March 11, 2010, 8:00AM

ANN ARBOR — Rapid freezing of breast cancer in mice kills the cancer in its place and helps stop its spread, according to a new study by researchers at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Based on these results, the researchers are now conducting a clinical trial in which they use the rapid freezing technique in humans with breast cancer, the center reported in a news release on the study.

The rapid freezing appears to generate an immune response that helps stop the cancer’s spread, leading to improved survival rates over surgery, the researchers say.

The study looked at two cryoablation techniques, which both involve applying a cold probe to a tumor to freeze it. One method freezes the tumor in about 30 seconds. The other freezes it more slowly, taking a few minutes.

Both techniques successfully killed the breast tumor, but the mice treated with the rapid freeze had fewer tumors that spread to the lungs and improved survival compared to mice treated with surgery alone or with the slower freezing technique.

Cryoablation is currently used routinely for prostate cancer, kidney cancer and a variety of cancers that have spread to the liver and bone, according to the U-M news release.

“Cryoablation has strong potential as a treatment for breast cancer,” said lead study author Dr. Michael Sabel, associate professor of surgery at the U-M Medical School. “Not only does it appear effective in treating the primary tumor, with little cosmetic concerns, but it also may stimulate an immune response capable of eradicating any cells that have traveled throughout the body, reducing both local and distant recurrence, similar to giving a breast-cancer vaccine.”

Results of the mice study appear online in Annals of Surgical Oncology.

All participants in the human trial will be treated three to four weeks after cryoablation with standard surgery to remove their breast-cancer tumors. For more information about this study, call the U-M Cancer AnswerLine at (800) 865-1125.

© 2010 All rights reserved.

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