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Interventional Radiology Study Shows Low Breast Cancer Recurrence 16 Months After Cryoablation


In a cohort of patients with invasive breast cancer and tumor sizes ranging between 0.3 to 9 cm, image-guided cryoablation was associated with a 10 percent recurrence rate at 16 months, according to research recently presented at the Society of Interventional Radiology (SIR) conference.

Image-guided cyroablation may be an effective option in treating invasive breast cancer tumors regardless of tumor size, according to new research presented recently at the Society of Interventional Radiology (SIR) conference.

For the retrospective study, researchers assessed the use of cryoablation for a cohort of 60 patients with invasive breast cancer who were not deemed to be candidates for surgery or refused surgery. The cohort included 48 cases of invasive ductal carcinoma (IDC) and five patients with invasive lobular carcinoma (ILC). While the average tumor size was 2.5 cm, the study authors noted that treated tumors ranged in size between 0.3 cm to 9 cm. The researchers noted that multiple probes were utilized for the cryoablation procedure in patients who had tumor sizes larger than 1.4 cm.1

Median 16-month follow-up results revealed a 10 percent (six patients) recurrence rate.1

“This is actually significant because a lot of these patients, had they been candidates for surgery or agreed to surgery, would have actually been offered a mastectomy and not just a lumpectomy,” noted study co-author Yolanda Bryce, M.D., an interventional radiologist at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City.

Interventional Radiology Study Shows Low Breast Cancer Recurrence 16 Months After Cryoablation

In a recently published literature review on the use of cryoablation in patients with early breast cancer, Debra K. Monticciolo, M.D., and colleagues indicated that optimal candidates for the procedure are women with low-grade, hormone receptor-positive unifocal IDC tumors that are less than or equal to 1.5 cm in size.2

However, in the research presented at the SIR conference, the researchers noted no difference in mean tumor size between the recurrence group (2.53 cm) and the non-recurrence group (2.54 cm).1

“Surgery is still the best option for tumor removal, but there are thousands of women who, for various reasons, cannot have surgery,” said Dr. Bryce. “We are optimistic that this can give more women hope on their treatment journeys.”

While poorly differentiated disease contributed to a higher relative risk of recurrence, the study authors noted that recurrence risk was not affected by triple negative breast cancer (TNBC) status, estrogen-receptor status, or progesterone-receptor status.

(Editor’s note: For related content, see “What New Mammography Research Reveals About Radial Scars Detected with Digital Breast Tomosynthesis,” “Can DWI MRI Offer a Viable Non-Contrast Alternative for Breast Cancer Assessment?” and “Study: AI Improves Cancer Detection Rate for Digital Mammography and Digital Breast Tomosynthesis.”)


1. Jean J, Bryce Y. Breast cancer recurrence after cryoablation. Presented at the Society of Interventional Radiology (SIR) conference, March 23-March 28, 2024, Sat Lake City, Utah. Available at www.sirmeeeting.org . Accessed March 26, 2024.

2. Thai JN, Sevrukov AB, Ward RC, Monticciolo DL. Cryoablation therapy for early-stage breast cancer: evidence and rationale. J Breast Imaging. 2023;5(6):646-657.

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