By Adam Van Heerden, NoCamels
We’ve told you before about IceCure’s amazing tumor-freezing technology that destroys breast tumors by freezing them into ice balls. Now the company has set its sights on another killer – lung cancer. The Israeli biomedical company that pioneered the application of cryoablation (a process which uses extreme cold to freeze and destroy diseased tissue) as a treatment for benign breast tumors (fibroadenomas), intends to expand its technology to the treatment of lung cancer, with a new clinical trial to begin in Japan.
“This study, which is fully funded by the Kameda Medical Center in Japan, may pave the road for IceCure to use its cryoablation technology in lung cancer tumors, in addition to the current commercial applications for the treatment of benign breast tumors and investigational use for small breast cancers,” said IceCure President and CEO Hezi Himelfarb.
A proven means to destroy breast tumors
IceCure has received FDA approval for its cryoablation system, IceSense3, to treat fibroadenomas and small malignant breast tumors. The procedure is minimally invasive, takes approximately 15 minutes and requires only local anaesthetic.
IceSense3 uses ultrasound imaging to guide a hollow needle into the lump or tumor. The distal part of the needle is then cooled to -274F (-170C) through the use of liquid nitrogen, which engulfs the tumor in a ball of ice and destroys the targeted cells. No further procedure is necessary and the body automatically reabsorbs the dead cells over time.
According to IceCure, its procedure produces a more aesthetically pleasing result than surgery, which can leave big scars.
Doctor Eisuke Fukuma, Chairman of the Breast Center at Kameda Medical Center, explains: “Cryoablation offers a much more comfortable and cosmetically appealing treatment option for small breast cancers. The IceSense3 system provides a more efficient, targeted treatment to completely destroy the tumor in a quick, office procedure.”
Now IceCure Medical wants to apply its technology beyond treating fibroadenomas and small malignant breast tumors.
Tackling the deadliest cancer
Himelfarb says: “Successful results in the Japanese trial may open the possibility to enter a huge market with hundreds of thousands of new cases every year.” According to the American Cancer Society, lung cancer is the leading cancer killer of both men and women in the United States, more than the next three cancers combined (colon, breast and prostate).
The clinical study will be managed by Dr. Akihiko Takeshi, the chairman of the Thoracic Surgery Department at Kameda Medical Center. IceCure Medical will determine its future involvement in the treatment of lung cancer through cryoablation in accordance with the results of the study.