New Study Says Cryoablation Effective in Treating Prostate Cancer
After reviewing the results of a new clinical study, researchers have found that cryoablation — a minimally-invasive procedure using intense cold to kill cancer cells — is effective in treating prostate cancer, opening the doors for the procedure to be used as an alternative to current treatments.
Freezing Prostate Cancer in its Tracks
The research study, which will appear in an upcoming issue of the journal European Urology, details how 94 men with prostate cancer that were treated with primary whole-gland cryoablation reacted to the procedure. Results were found to be promising. In fact, survival rates were quite high after a median follow-up of around five and a half years, according to researchers.
Five-year biochemical failure-free rates were found to be 81% across all patients, all of whom had been diagnosed with prostate cancers of different risk levels. The treatment was found to be most effective in low-risk prostate cancers, where survival rates were as high as 89%. Medium and high-risk cancer survival rates were similar at 78% and 80% respectively. As far as 5-year survival without metastasis, this figure reached a very encouraging 95%.
Not a Perfect Outcome, but Far from Bad
Cryoablation as a treatment option is, of course, not perfect. Researchers freely admitted that the retrospective nature of the study means that there were limitations in data gathering. Additionally, patients were not selected using MRIs in conjunction with transrectal ultrasounds and biopsy. This choice to omit MRI testing might have resulted in less accurate staging and fewer positive outcomes for patients.
However, even in the cases where patients did not respond positively to the procedure, data gathered by the study may prove helpful. In this case, patients who did not experience a prostate-specific androgen nadir of less than 0.2 ng/mL 6 months after the procedure were found to be 3.6 times more likely to experience biochemical failure and 2.8 times more likely to experience a clinical recurrence.