Freezing Tech Could Treat Painful Women’s Disease
Israeli tech that freezes and destroys early-stage breast tumors may be a viable treatment for women suffering from endometriosis.
A new study used IceCure Medical’s cryoablation system – which utilizes extremely cold liquid to destroy abnormal tissue – to treat 42 women with endometriosis, a chronic, painful and incurable disease where tissue similar to the uterus lining grows on other pelvic organs.
The patients experienced significantly less pain than before, even up to three years after going through the procedure. The vast majority of those treated (93.75 percent) had no pain after six months, and 82.72 percent remained pain-free up to three years later.
Therapeutic options used to prevent the progression of endometriosis and reduce symptoms have been so far limited to hormonal treatments and surgery. IceCure’s treatment was found to be 92.8 percent effective per patient at avoiding a secondary surgery.
Only four patients had an ‘adverse event’ in the days following the procedure, and one patient had a ‘severe adverse event’.
The idea of using an extremely cold liquid to freeze and destroy abnormal tissue – or cryoablation – isn’t new. But IceCure Medical’s system allows physicians to perform the procedure at their own office, with no need for hospitalization.
The breakthrough is the use of liquid nitrogen instead of a mixture of argon and helium gasses. Liquid nitrogen is cheaper, it can be frozen faster, and is easier to maintain at sub-zero temperatures, shortening the treatment time.
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Unlike breast cancer patients, who are awake during IceCure’s cryoablation procedure, the participants of the study were sedated. The study also used another cryoablation system, by American company Varian.
Endometriosis affects about 10 percent of women (who are of reproductive age) globally, or 190 million people. It is associated with severe, life-impacting pain during periods and sexual intercourse, as well as depression, anxiety, and infertility. Its cause is unknown, there is no way to prevent it, and there is currently no cure.
“We believe that the independent study has demonstrated the value of cryoablation in treating endometriosis, a chronic and painful condition in dire need of an effective minimally invasive treatment,” stated Eyal Shamir, IceCure’s CEO.
“The ProSense system has regulatory approval in several countries, including FDA clearance for use as a cryosurgical tool in gynecology, and we are pleased that doctors now have more evidence of cryoablation’s efficacy in patients with extraperitoneal endometriosis.”
The study was published in the Journal of Vascular and Interventional Radiology.