Israeli Startup Freezing Cancer In Its Tracks Now Tackling Kidney, Liver, Bone Tumors

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Israeli Startup Freezing Cancer In Its Tracks Now Tackling Kidney, Liver, Bone Tumors

By Ido Levy, NoCamels March 12, 2018 
This article was re-published with permission from NoCamels.com – Israeli Innovation News.

Treating cancer is often a notoriously long and trying process, sometimes requiring a combination of surgery and radiation or chemotherapy. These treatments can go on for months or longer, and come with a number of devastating side effects.

Cancer researchers and medical technology companies over these past decades have worked to find forms of treatment that are less invasive but equally impactful. One Israeli biomedical company has envisioned a world where all it would take is a short doctor’s visit.

Since 2006, Caesarea-based IceCure Medical has advanced the concept of cryoablation, a process which uses extreme cold to freeze and destroy diseased tissue used by medical experts for years, to develop technology that would freeze cancer tumors. In 2012, using the company’s IceSense3 system, doctors treated benign breast cancer tumors in four patients during a clinical trial conducted in Kamogowa, Japan. The system had specifically been developed to treat fibroadenomas, which are the most common type of benign breast tumors, typically seen in young women aged 15 to 30.

This is how it works: After administering local anesthesia, a doctor pumps liquid nitrogen at -274F (-170C) through a needle guided by ultrasound scanning to freeze the tumor without affecting surrounding tissue. The whole procedure takes about 15 minutes, can be done in a doctor’s office, and is virtually painless and minimally invasive enough that it does not affect a patient’s daily life. IceCure says it can use its system to treat tumors the size of golf balls. Besides tackling cancer cells directly, cryoablation also stimulates the cells to attack the frozen area, “teaching” the immune to recognize cancer cells, the company says.

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