In Medical First, Israeli Doctors Freeze Out Cancerous Bladder Tumors

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In Medical First, Israeli Doctors Freeze Out Cancerous Bladder Tumors

By Pesach Benson, United With Israel -

Doctors at Haifa’s Rambam Hospital removed cancer tumors from the bladders of four patients by freezing them out rather than by cutting. The procedure has never been tried before and offers tremendous potential to reduce bleeding, infection, pain and other risks.

All the patients were discharged without side effects and will be monitored over several weeks.

“Normally, the tumors are frozen by injecting the freezing agent using needles, but this can’t happen with bladder cancer,” said aide Dr. Isaac Hoffman, who operated with his colleague Prof. Gilad Amiel.

Instead, an Israeli medical company, Vessi Medical, based near Nahariya, developed a process to spray a freezing agent on the cancerous cells. Ice forms around and within the cancerous cells without damaging the bladder muscles.

The bladder is unlike other organs, explained Eyal Kochavi, CEO of Vessi Medical. “It’s mostly muscle and very flexible. It has the ability to change its volume in a way that we don’t pay attention to. So, for example, we don’t feel any urge to urinate until it fills to almost half a liter.”

Said Hoffman, “Here we are actually spraying liquid Co2 instead of cutting out the tumor, a process that causes scarring of healthy tissue…

“We are very happy that we succeeded in freezing the tumor, after which the cancerous cells die off without them needing us to cut them out.”

Hoffman added that the procedure could eventually be administered as an outpatient treatment. “The aim is to release the patient from the hospital on the same day as the procedure.”

Bladder cancer affects around two million people globally. According to the Mayo Clinic, risk factors for bladder cancer include family history, a personal history of chronic bladder irritation or infection, age, smoking and exposure to certain chemicals used to manufacture dyes, rubber, paint and other textiles.


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