Cryotherapy promising for future mesothelioma

North Carolina residents may be interested to hear that a recent mesothelioma clinical trial reveals that cryotherapy may be a valuable addition to multidisciplinary treatments of pleural mesothelioma. A leading thoracic surgeon believes that the groundbreaking clinical trial is promising for mesothelioma patients. Although more tests are needed, she says that it could play an important role in future treatments.

The procedure, typically used for external tumors, involves destroying cancer cells by freezing them with nitrogen vapors. It has also been used internally for prostate cancer and liver cancer and is being researched for use in colon, breast and kidney cancer. Another prominent thoracic surgeon performed a similar procedure called cryoablation in the past and had success.

Mesothelioma is an aggressive form of cancer that goes unrecognized by the immune system for a long time. Because people do not show any mesothelioma symptoms at first, the disease spreads quickly, and it may take decades before they receive a disease diagnosis. The surgeon hopes that the treatment will spark an immunological response that will improve the functioning of the patient’s immune system, allowing them to attack and destroy tumor cells on their own.

Cryotherapy is less toxic to the healthy tissue surrounding targeted tumors and can also be used to control the growth of tumors. Doctors believe that the new procedure will reduce the extent of surgery necessary, preserve more of the patient’s lung, and could lead to quicker recoveries and less recurrences. Cryotherapy is performed during another standard non-invasive procedure two weeks before major surgery. The aim is to measure the extent of the disease. Doctors note that the procedure is not harmful or dangerous, and they are optimistic that it will be helpful to those suffering from pleural mesothelioma.

Source:, “Only U.S. Cryotherapy Trial for Mesothelioma Finds Success,” Tim Povtak, Feb. 14, 2018