Cancer Ablation

Cancer Ablation

Clinical Trials, Patient Advocacy, Treatment
What is Cancer Ablation?This is a minimally invasive surgical method to treat solid cancers. Special probes are used to “burn” or “freeze” cancers. Computed Tomography (CT), Ultrasound (US) or Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is used to guide and position the needle probe into the tumour. This requires only a tiny hole, usually less than 3 mm via which the probe is introduced. When the probe is within the cancer it is attached to a generator which “burns” or “freezes” the cancer.  “Burning” refers to increasing the temperature of the tumour to such a level that cancer cells die. This is usually achieved by radio frequency probes, referring to the type of energy used to increase the temperature. “Freezing” refers to cryoablation which decreases the temperature to -40 C (-40 F)…
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EUS Guided Ablation for small pancreatic NETs (Less than 2cm)

EUS Guided Ablation for small pancreatic NETs (Less than 2cm)

Clinical Trials, Patient Advocacy
To burn or not to burn?I once wrote a post about Pancreatic NET "to cut or not to cut".  You can read that here.  Surgery for small pancreatic NETs remains controversial with most guidelines and study guidelines recommending surveillance for small primary tumours less than 2cm.  There are exceptions to that, e.g. preventative surgery if the tumour is threatening important vessels and for functional cases where the surgery is palliative in nature.  Contrast that against some patient perspectives where they just want it cut out (and some will 'surgeon-shop' until they find someone who will).Most pancreatic NET are lower grades (e.g. Grade 1 and 2) well differentiated, most are non-functional, many are localised.  Functional tumours such as Insulinoma are mostly small and localised. A lack of sensitive and specific markers that…
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Histotripsy:  A new technique which destroys cancer using soundwaves (now in Clinical Trials)

Histotripsy: A new technique which destroys cancer using soundwaves (now in Clinical Trials)

Clinical Trials, Treatment
Illustration of histotripsy technology. Image courtesy of Medicine at Michigan Magazine. A new technique that destroys cancer using soundwaves.  It also spurs the immune system to kill off any of the tumour left, scientists have revealed. The non-invasive treatment only needs to be partially effective to stop the cancer spreading.It is currently being tested on human liver cancers in the US and Europe following successful trials in rats. The team from the University of Michigan showed the non-invasive sound technology is able to prevent further spread with no evidence of recurrence or metastases in the majority of cases. The treatment, called histotripsy, noninvasively focuses ultrasound waves to mechanically destroy target tissue with millimetre precision. In many cases, the entirety of a cancerous tumour cannot be targeted directly in treatments due to…
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