New breast cancer treatment freezes tumours into a ball of ice
A supercooled needle tip repeatedly freezes then defrost tumours so that the harmful tissue is damaged and ultimately dies, 'The Telegraph' reported.
The technique does not require anaesthetic and can be completed in about 15 minutes. It could also provide a better alternative to the current method of surgery, which requires women to stay in hospital for up to a week and can leave
The procedure uses a needle cooled to -170 degree Celsius by pumping liquid nitrogen through a network of tiny tubes, allowing the surgeon to control the size of ice ball produced to ensure it freezes the entire tumour.
Scientists said it could be used on cancerous masses up to the size of a golf ball.
It has already been used on benign tumours and doctors have now begun a trial of the procedure in 30 breast cancer patients.
"The cells in the human body are made mainly of water, which means they freeze," said chief executive Hezi Himmelfarb from the Israel-based company IceCure Medical, which developed the device.
"There have been attempts before to use heat to destroy cancer cells like this, but that can be extremely painful because our bodies are very sensitive to heat," Himmelfarb
"Cold has an anaesthetising effect, so the patients feel very little pain during or after the procedure," Himmelfarb said.
"We have developed the system so it can be carried out in a normal doctors'
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