Cryotherapy combined with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is giving doctors unprecedented control during liver cancer treatment by allowing them to observe the tumors freezing in real time, according to a study presented today at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA).
"We can actually watch the iceball grow," said Kemal Tuncali, M.D. "We have better control over the means of killing the tumor with MR guidance and cryotherapy. We can also watch out for critical structures around the area that we dont want to damage, like the bowel, stomach or gall bladder." Dr. Tuncali is director of genitourinary radiology services in the department of radiology at Brigham and Womens Hospital in Boston.
Liver cancer is notoriously difficult to treat with standard methods such as chemotherapy and open surgery. Physicians are turning to alternative ways of destroying tumors, including cryotherapy. Interventional radiologists perform cryotherapy by inserting a needle called a cryoprobe directly into the cancerous tissue and using argon gas to freeze the tumor.
Doug Dusik | EurekAlert!
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