BUFFALO, NY--Renewed interest in cryosurgery may soon translate into a viable therapeutic option for patients with primary and secondary liver cancers.
BUFFALO, NY--Renewed interest in cryosurgery may soon translateinto a viable therapeutic option for patients with primary andsecondary liver cancers.
"The field of hepatic cryosurgery is wide open for originalresearch," Miguel Rodriguez-Bigas, MD, said at a conferenceon multidisciplinary cancer care sponsored by the Roswell ParkCancer Institute, where he is a surgical oncol-ogist. The conferencewas supported by an unrestricted educational grant from Bristol-MyersSquibb Oncology.
Important research may emerge from the Hepatic Cryosurgery Center,recently established by Roswell Park's Division of Surgical Oncology,under the direction of Nicholas J. Petrelli, MD.
The Center, Dr. Rodriguez-Bigas said, will offer "innovativetreatment regimens for unresectable hepatocellular carcinomasand metastatic neoplasms from soft tissue sarcomas, neuroendocrinetumors, and colorectal cancer."
He also suggested that cryosurgery may be beneficial in palliatingsystemic symptoms caused by unresectable, hormonally active hepaticmetastases. "There is an immunological response to hepaticcryosurgery," he noted, "that has yet to be characterized."
Because the amount of normal tissue frozen can be controlled,tumors in multiple hepatic segments can be treated and, on occasion,re-treated if they recur. The most common side effects--elevationsin liver function tests, fever, and throm-bocytopenia--are usuallytransient, Dr. Rodriguez-Bigas said.
Roswell Park's current cryosurgical studies are assessing outcomeand tumor response, and will clarify some of the treatment "unknowns,"including identifying the best candidates.