The results of a small study suggest that MR imaging-guided percutaneous cryotherapy is an effective means of treating patients with small renal tumors, researchers report in the August issue of Radiology.
“Our findings,” lead investigator Dr. Stuart G. Silverman told Reuters Health, “add further evidence to the growing body of knowledge that suggests that small renal cancers may be treated effectively using non-surgical, interventional radiology techniques.”Dr. Silverman of Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston and colleagues used the approach in 26 renal tumors (mean diameter, 2.6 cm) in 23 patients. In total, 24 of the tumors were renal cell carcinomas, 1 was transitional cell carcinoma and the other was an angiomyolipoma. Tumors were frozen using needle-like cryoprobes placed through the skin under MR imaging-guidance. “MR imaging was used throughout the procedure,” continued Dr. Silverman, “using a specially designed, open MRI system that allowed interventional radiologists to view ice formation around the probe. This allowed almost all the tumors to be treated completely in one session.”Twenty-four tumors were successfully ablated and 23 required only 1 treatment session.Follow-up was limited to approximately 1 year and “although this work is promising, longer follow-up will be need to fully establish its role in the treatment of renal cancer,” Dr. Silverman pointed out.However, he added that “MR imaging-guided percutaneous cryotherapy is being used at Brigham and Women’s Hospital’s Department of Radiology also to treat other types of tumors in locations throughout the body.”(Source: Radiology 2005;236:716-734: Reuters Health: David Douglas: Oncolink: August 2005.)