Patients in Central New Jersey with early-stage breast cancer may benefit from accessing a treatment that does not require traditional invasive surgery. Performed at Princeton Radiology’s Minimally Invasive Care Center in Monroe by interventional radiologist Dr. Kenneth Tomkovich, the procedure, called cryoablation, uses a small needle and the cooling power of liquid nitrogen to freeze and destroy breast tumors.
Tomkovich, who has spent more than 20 years researching the treatment of cancer by freezing tumor cells so that they can be removed by the immune system, is among the leaders of a groundbreaking clinical trial studying the effectiveness of cryoablation.
To treat breast cancer, Tomkovich uses an instrument manufactured by IceCure Medical Ltd. — the ProSense cryoablation system — which the Food and Drug Administration this spring designated as a breakthrough device for use in patients diagnosed with T1 invasive breast cancer, or for those who are not candidates for traditional breast cancer surgery.
“Early detection has dramatically increased breast cancer survival rates,” Tomkovich said. “Yet the disease has still often been managed the same way it was 30 years ago: with invasive surgical lumpectomies or even mastectomies. Cryoablation changes everything. It’s much less invasive—and more than 98 percent successful in our clinical trials.”
Muriel Smith, a retired journalist who lives in New Jersey, was one of Tomkovich’s patients during the trial. She had a cancerous tumor treated with ultrasound-guided cryoablation in less than an hour as an outpatient using only local anesthesia and is now in remission.
“I didn’t have to face the trauma of losing a breast,” Smith said. “I can’t believe there was something this easy and painless to treat my breast cancer. It took less than 30 minutes and I ended up going to lunch afterward with friends.”
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