Interventional radiologists from the Medical University of Warsaw performed the first lung cancer cryoablation procedure in Poland

The procedure consisted in inserting two needles through the skin into a tumor in the lung. The tips of the needles were cooled to -120oC. After several cycles of freezing and thawing, the tumor was destroyed. Everything went smoothly. Cryoablation was performed this day and the patient will be scheduled for discharge home the next day.

The patient in the past received a liver transplant due to hepatocellular carcinoma. Transplantation was successful, but after 5 years a small (8 mm) metastasis of this tumor appeared in the lung. Surgery would be an extensive procedure, with a higher risk of complications and a longer stay in the hospital. In order to reduce the risk, which is especially important in a transplant patient whose immunity is permanently weakened, it was decided to perform the minimally invasive cryoablation. The procedure was performed under the control of computer tomography, so the doctors could see the chest organs, the tumor and needles in real time.

Cryoablation is a method belonging to a large group of interventional radiology treatments used in cancer patients. It is used to treat patients with tumors of the lungs, kidneys, bones and soft tissues. The advantages of this method include: very high efficiency (about 90% for small tumors) and safety. The rate of serious complications is several times lower than with surgical methods. The procedure is associated with a short hospital stay and does not deteriorate lung function or quality of life. There are only small traces on the skin.

The lung cancer cryoablation procedure was performed by interventional radiologists from the 2nd Department of Radiology of UCK, Medical University of Warsaw, led by Professor Olgierd Rowiński. The team was composed of: Krzysztof Milczarek, Dariusz Konecki and Grzegorz Rosiak (interventional radiologists), Alicja Kwiatkowska (anesthesiologist), Piotr Wesołowski (anesthesiologist), Magda Sobotka (electroradiologist). The patient is led by Joanna Raszeja-Wyszomirska (hepatologist).