Claiming a world first, Israeli doctors have removed cancer tumors from the bladder by freezing them instead of cutting them out.
Doctors at the Rambam Healthcare Campus in Haifa say that the method has great potential to reduce bleeding, infection risk, and pain.
They have conducted the operation four times, and all patients were discharged without side effects. Over the coming weeks, they will be monitored to see how effectively the operations banished cancer, and several more patients will receive the surgery.
With current methods, bladder cancer patients are often prone to recurrence, but Dr. Isaac Hoffman said he expects freeze therapy to remove cancer cells more effectively and reduce the chance of recurrence.
He noted that cryotherapy, the use of extreme cold to freeze and remove abnormal tissue, isn’t new and is used on various cancers. But until now doctors haven’t been able to use it on bladder cancer, which affects more than 2 million people worldwide, because of the nature of the tumors.
After it is sprayed, ice forms between and inside the cancer cells, without harming the bladder muscles.
Hoffman commented: “We believe there are advantages to the patient. After cutting you normally have to leave a catheter in, which can cause pain and risk of urinary tract infection. So we are reducing this.”
The innovation will lead to patients spending less time in the hospital, Hoffman predicted. “We visualize the tumor and treat it with a freeze,” he said. “The aim is to release the patient from the hospital on the same day as the procedure.”
Originally posted at vfinews.com