Case Studies highlight the benefit of Varian’s unique offering in cryoablation as an effective cancer treatment solution
Navid Eghbalieh, MD, Medical Director of Vascular & Interventional Radiology at Providence Holy Cross Medical Center, and Assistant Clinical Professor of Vascular & Interventional Radiology at UCLA, shared his experiences with the Varian CryoCare system using the V-PROBE® cryoprobe in two recent case studies.
Cryoablation involves inserting a probe or probes through a small incision in the skin and using MRI, ultrasound, or CT imaging to position the probe to contact on or within a tumor or lesion. Argon gas circulates inside the cryoprobes to produce extremely low temperatures, creating a ball of ice. The ice extends from the cryoprobe to the surrounding tumor, freezing and destroying the abnormal tissue.
Dr. Eghbalieh performs his cryoablation procedures under CT guidance to monitor treatment progress and to guide the adaptation of the ice ball sizing as required. The V-PROBE® offers a tremendous level of control and precision through the ability to tailor the size of the ice ball to destroy tumors while avoiding damage to adjacent healthy tissue and critical structures.
Varian’s V-PROBE cryoprobe, with its unique, adjustable isotherm feature, offers great clinical utility for the treatment of tumors with cryoablation. The two new case reports describe both palliative care and treatment with curative intent. In both cases, the patients were treated successfully with no complications, and the desired outcomes were achieved.
“The Varian V-Probe represents a key innovation forward for cryoablation,” said Dr. Eghbalieh. “As these two case studies show, the ability to adjust the V-PROBE based on imaging during the procedure--effectively controlling the size of the ice ball--was instrumental to the success of each procedure and reduced the risk of damage to surrounding tissues.”
Case Study: Coccyx/Tailbone Metastases
In this case study, cryoablation was used in a palliative setting as pain relief for an inoperable metastatic lesion on the coccyx. The patient was a 68-year-old male diagnosed with metastatic colon cancer that was causing extreme pain in his tailbone, resulting in the inability to walk, sit or lie down on his back. Since the pain had not responded to other forms of treatment, including radiotherapy and opioids, the patient agreed to cryoablation therapy. The lesion was located close to the rectum and skin surface. Pre-procedural planning and CT imaging during the procedure helped avoid damage to these tissues.
The decision was made to perform cryoablation, not only because it is a viable treatment method for pain management, but also for intraoperative visualization of treatment progress against surrounding structures. Two V-PROBE cryoprobes were used to freeze the entire lesion. The V-PROBE was strong enough to pierce the bone at the site of the lesion. The size of the ice ball was determined under imaging during the procedure, enabling Dr. Eghbalieh to encompass the entire lesion and deliver an immediate cryoanalgesic effect directly at the source of the patient’s pain. The patient reported immediate pain relief with no recurrence during multiple follow-up visits.
Case Study: Left Renal Mass
Minimally invasive, image-guided cryoablation is considered a safe and effective non-surgical treatment option for patients with small renal tumors. Dr. Eghbalieh treated a 65-year-old female who presented with a 2.8 cm mass in the left kidney, using the Varian CryoCare system with the V-PROBE® because it enabled him to adjust the treatment area based on visualization of the tumor and surrounding anatomy.
Dr. Eghbalieh determined during pre-procedural planning that he might need to perform hydrodissection to displace the bowel from the treatment site. This in turn, would necessitate an adjustment of the ice ball after the probe was placed. He performed the cryoablation treatment using a single V-PROBE cryoprobe in a standard dual-freeze protocol and was able to adjust the ice ball size when hydrodissection became necessary. No side effects were reported during the procedure, and post-procedural MRI and CT scans showed a complete response, with no evidence of residual or recurrent tumor or injury to any adjacent structures.
While these case studies highlight specific cryosurgery procedures, minimally invasive, image-guided cryoablation is being used as an effective treatment for several types of cancer, as well as precancerous and noncancerous conditions, according to the National Cancer Institute1.
“As interventional oncology becomes an important component of multidisciplinary cancer care, Varian continues to expand its portfolio of Interventional Solutions in pursuit of a world without fear of cancer,” said Joseph Steele, MD, FSIR and Chief Medical Officer for Varian’s Interventional Solutions business. “The Varian CryoCare system with V-PROBE represents the value of personalized treatment to achieve a more precise, targeted, and efficient delivery.”
The information captured herein represents the genuine experience of the attributed individuals and may not necessarily represent the views of Varian or the above-referenced institution. Individuals were not compensated for their participation. Radiation treatment may not be appropriate for all cancers. Individual results may vary. For more information, please visit www.varian.com/safety.