...And Could Become Standard of Care for Cancers <3cm.


Galil Medical, a company that has developed the technology to enable interventional radiologists to perform the procedure, recently promoted an article that I excerpt as follows from their brochure:


In a 2014 article describing their prospective study, Christos S. Georgiades and Ron Rodriguez summarized the results following cryoablation of 261 renal tumors.

Outcomes at 5 years:

  • Overall survival: 98.7%
  • Recurrence free survival: 97%
  • Cancer specific survival: 100%

Low rate of clinically significant complications:

  • CTCAE Grade ≥ 3:  6%


To say that these results are exciting would be an understatement. I and my partner have been performing renal cryoablations for approximately ten years. We have developed a high degree of comfort with the available devices.

The ideal kidney cancer projects posteriorly (towards the back) and is smaller than 3cm. While larger cancers can be treated with this freezing technique, recurrence rates rise as cancer size increases above 4cm. The procedure also becomes technically more challenging and the procedure time becomes longer the larger the cancer size.

We have seen very few recurrences in our patient population. In addition, these procedures are extremely well-tolerated. We routinely treat people who are well into their 80s, and/or who are not able to undergo traditional surgical resection.

In our experience, patients who undergo this treatment do extremely well, with the great majority being sent home the same day, after several hours of observation to ensure no immediate complications arise.

This procedure is typically performed under moderate or deep sedation, meaning that we enlist the services of the anesthesia team. They administer heavier sedation than the usual interventional procedure, in order to keep patients as comfortable and still as possible so that we physicians can perform the procedure with no risk of patient movement compromising safety.

In summary, as I am typically asked, I would certainly want my loved ones to undergo this procedure if they were unfortunately diagnosed with a kidney cancer that was anatomically appropriate. In the right hands, as with most things, the procedure is effective, fast, safe, and definitive.

#iloveinterventionalradiology !