Vessi Medical investigators reported successful trials for their surface cryoablation therapy designed to address urinary system cancers. The minimally invasive procedure looks to become a strong alternative for the treatment of non-muscle invasive bladder cancer (NMIBC) and possibly replace the current first-line therapy with Transurethral Resection of Bladder Tumor (TURBT).
Costly and highly invasive, TURBT is also not very reliable. Patients need to be put under general anesthetic, which already presents some risks, and more often than not (in up to 80% of cases) the disease returns. There is a higher chance of possible complications, further reducing the patient’s quality of life.
“Surface cryotherapy is a potential paradigm shift in the treatment of superficial bladder cancer. Tissue response to the cryo spray can be seen in real time, allowing physicians to assess destruction of the tissue”, explained Prof. Gilad E. Amiel, Department of Urology Chair at Israel’s Rambam Health. “Visualization was excellent at all procedure stages and was not affected by the cryo spray. Additionally, histology results demonstrated the efficacy of tissue destruction and safety as there was no revealed bladder perforation or bleeding”.
The cryoablation treatment can be simply administered in a neurologist’s office under local anesthesia. It involves a spray particularly developed for the unique environment within the bladder. The system regulates the ideal cooling temperature and pressure required for targeted cell destruction, while at the same time preserving the surrounding healthy tissue.
Vessi Medical CEO, Eyal Kochavi, noted that “the technology focuses first on bladder cancer, but can hopefully address other bladder illnesses such as overactive bladder, providing a win-win solution for patients, physicians and the health care system”.
Cryotherapy has been effectively used for other forms of cancer, including skin, breast, bone, prostate and cervical. The technician will monitor the probe using an MRI or ultrasound, guiding the needle towards the affected area. It can also be paired with surgery, to improve the resection.
The American Cancer Society estimates approximately 80,000 new cases each year, with rates slowly declining.
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