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Topic: Cryotherapy/ablation for small tumors

Forum: Clinical Trials, Research News, Podcasts, and Study Results —

Share your research articles, interpretations and experiences here. Let us know how these studies affect you and your decisions.

Posted on: Aug 7, 2017 01:54PM

slimslug wrote:

Hi -- I've got a small (and "indolent") tumor for which standard of care is lumpectomy plus radiation plus AI. However, as I've had a great many surgeries in recent years plus earlier lung damage and strongly wanted to avoid both surgery and radiation, DH and I researched and found both clinical trials and some doctors who use the FDA-approved cryoablation for cancerous tumors, with specific requirements, including size, <25%DCIS, etc. The Phase 2 trial showed 100% success in eliminating tumors under 1cm and lesser but still significant success with slightly larger ones.

I have seen a nearby doctor and also talked with one of the trials, and I am going with the treatments as it seems entirely safe. Not only safe, but it leaves all options open -- you still CAN have surgery or radiation or SNL or whatever you like afterwards. The doctor I'm seeing, Dr. Weintritt in Alexandria, uses the FROST trial protocol although he isn't actually part of the trial. There are some other doctors who use this, but no one nearer to me.

Cryoablation takes about 20 minutes in the doctor's office, and is the insertion of a probe through a 3-4mm slit under US guidance until it enters the tumor. It uses liquid nitrogen (which stays entirely in the probe, none gets into you!) to freeze the tumor and an area of 1cm around on all sides. The cycle is, according to Dr. Weintritt, 6 minutes freezing, a few minutes thaw, another 6 minutes freezing. The freeze-thaw cycle is important to killing the cells. Afterwards you are free to go, no restrictions. Return in 2 weeks for a check, then in 1, 3, and 6 months. MRI at 6 months, with a biopsy, then standard followup after. AIs for 5 years.

These are the trials I've seen. I may end up in the FROST trial:

This is the website for the FROST trial sponsored by Sanarus, now in its third phase and recruiting, participants must be 50 or older, tumor <1.5cm.

This trial is sponsored by a different company that also makes a cryotherapy device:

Participants must be at least 60 years of age, tumor < 1.5cm.

I've seen another clinical trial using cryotherapy for larger tumors along with immunotherapy but it is significantly different: NCT02950259

Below are the two companies' websites:

Website of company that produces the Seneca device, the device used in the Z1072 clinical trial and being used in the ongoing Phase III trial.See also the clinical-info tab has the obvious plus links, the Our Solution tab has a short video of the procedure, see also the Patient tab and Home.You need to contact them directly to find out if there are any doctors near you who perform this, contact info on many tabs, they were very pleasant and prompt in answering our questions.

Website of company that produces the ICE3 device.I'm personally a little irritated by the website presentation as "breast health options" with no mention that this the website of ONE company alone and that their device is not the device used in the Z1072 trial, although they do mention the trial.Their site has a Find Treatment tab with a US map, but it is not clear whether the sites on the map use their device for cryotherapy of cancerous tumors or of benign fibroadenomas only, a fairly common technique for years.

They are also sponsoring a trial which appears to be still recruiting: must be at least 60 years of age, tumor < 1.5cm.

I was able to find a couple of other posts about the use of cryoablation, but nothing recent and no following comments. It seems to me this is a VERY good option for those who qualify, and I would love to help others hear about it. Please let me know if its OK to post the above.



0.5mm invasive ductal and lobular cells, ER+/PR+ Neu2-
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Aug 7, 2017 02:04PM slimslug wrote:

Re side effects:

Dr. Weintritt said the golf-ball sized lump that follows treatment can persist for a year or more before it is reabsorbed by the body, and it may leave a place that feels thick or hardened, similar to what radiation may leave.

Also, there is significant interest in the autoimmune response that the reabsorbtion process may stimulate in your body, to the very cancer cells that were in the tumor. Apparently there are some very favorable animal trials, but none in humans so far, even though I've seen claims about this autoimmune process. And the third trial mentioned above, for larger tumors, includes pre-therapy immunotherapy.

0.5mm invasive ductal and lobular cells, ER+/PR+ Neu2-
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Apr 21, 2020 08:40PM calfam04 wrote:

I researched cryoablation and hyperthermia extensively, and now I am trying to get in to the FROST trial. I am very thankful for not having done any other treatment so far. It appears that my diet, nutritional supplements, and life style tweaks have been productive as my tumor has spontaneously gotten smaller over the three months since I found it. As of my most recent imaging, last ultrasound, the largest tumor dimension was 1.6 cm. I am hoping to be at the required 1.5 cm size at my next exam. I am ER/PR+ and HER2 - with no apparent lymph node involvement. I wish this treatment would be made available to all women as on option to the standard surgical procedures everyone is told they need to have.

Wish me luck.

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Apr 22, 2020 01:10AM slimslug wrote:

sending you all the positive vibes I can! Have you gotten in touch yet with the participating doctor nearest you? I moved across the country so my last follow up was with Dr Dennis Holmes in LA. As I’m not really near there and didn’t want to travel, he agreed to do it by videoconference, although I stil had to get the mammogram and US done and sent to him. For a first visit, I imagine it would have to be in person.

Updates: the lump continues to decrease in size every checkup, but it isn’t gone yet. Down from 6centimeters to 1.6 I think. I felt run down, like I’d feel if I had a cold, for about 7 weeks after the cryotherapy, which I interpreted as my immune system being activated, but that is not part of this trial so nothing was checked on that score. I have also had occasional soreness or achiness in the area, quite mild. Sum total of after effects .

Dr Holmes told me that all participants have had great results so far, but they need more to join the trial! I agree that this needs to be an option readily available. Very best wishes, and please post what happens. Congrats our your great healthy living efforts!!!

Slim slug

0.5mm invasive ductal and lobular cells, ER+/PR+ Neu2-
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May 12, 2020 02:34AM - edited May 12, 2020 02:35AM by calfam04


I am going in two days for my cryoablation with Dr. Holmes. I decided to go outside of the trial as it would require radiation and hormone blockers after. It will be expensive, but I am optimistic that this will be the end of my cancer. Did I understand that your tumor was 5 cm in size? Did that pose any problems for cryoablation? Who was your doctor? I am glad to hear you have not had any recurrence. I am curious to know how long it takes for the dead tissue to be reabsorbed into the body.


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Dec 7, 2020 11:24AM - edited Dec 7, 2020 11:25AM by mysticalcity

Lisa--I did not see a response to your question about how long it takes for the dead tissue to be reabsorbed. It is my understanding that it takes about 2 full years for all of it to reabsorb. I had cryo done in June 2019 with Dr. Holmes off trial. I have had 2 follow-ups since then--6 month follow-up in January 2020 where I had mammogram, ultrasound and needle biopsy of cryoablated area. I just had my 2nd follow up (which was delayed due to pandemic) for just imaging. Right now I have no evidence of disease. Praise God. I went out to the imaging center that Dr. Holmes uses for my initial follow-up and my understanding from the radiologist there (who works with him a lot and sees many of his cryo patients) is that majority of his patients have done well with no recurrence. I am beyond delighted with my results from cryo so far. I know 2 others on this forum who had it also a few years earlier than me and they are both still doing well. No reoccurrence so far. We all are also doing various anti-cancer supplements and healthy eating etc. I am taking anastrozole. I'm not sure if the others are or not. I believe they are doing more natural estrogen blocker type supplements.

Dx 3/22/2018, ILC/IDC, Left, 2cm, Stage IIA, Grade 2, ER+/PR-, HER2- Hormonal Therapy 5/31/2018 Arimidex (anastrozole) Surgery 6/26/2019 Cryotherapy: Left Radiation Therapy
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Dec 7, 2020 05:29PM slimslug wrote:


I'm so sorry I didn't see this months ago, I'm afraid I have some other conditions that don't always allow me to be online or use the computer. As far as how long it takes, I've still got some dead tissue in there, according to my last US/mammo in September, which marked the end of my 3rd year after cryoablation. I hope it is going well for you! I have been very, very impressed with the ease, comfort, and success of cryoablation. When I last spoke with Dr. Holmes (months ago), he said that all trial participants were doing really well. I just hope they get enough to get it approved and into common practice.


0.5mm invasive ductal and lobular cells, ER+/PR+ Neu2-
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Dec 7, 2020 05:35PM slimslug wrote:

Thanks for answering earlier, I hadn't realized I needed to respond to a question. I think they said at my last US/mammo that I still have a bit of dead tissue in there, and I'm now 3 years out. But nothing cancerous! Slightly sore if I press directly on the area, but not bad. I'm glad to hear of your and others' good experiences!


0.5mm invasive ductal and lobular cells, ER+/PR+ Neu2-

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