Patients in Central New Jersey with early-stage breast cancer can now access a highly effective treatment that does not require traditional invasive surgery. Performed at Princeton Radiology’s Minimally Invasive Care Center in Monroe Township by interventional radiologist Kenneth R. Tomkovich, MD, the procedure, called cryoablation, uses a small needle and the cooling power of liquid nitrogen to freeze and destroy breast tumors.
Dr. Tomkovich, whose background includes more than 20 years of research on treating 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 in early-stage breast cancer as an alternative to surgery.
To treat breast cancer, Dr. Tomkovich uses an instrument manufactured by IceCure Medical Ltd: the ProSense® cryoablation system (Cold Facts Vol. 36, No. 6), which the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) this spring granted Designation 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,” Dr. 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 NJ, was one of Dr. 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.”
Patients and referring physicians interested in cryoablation can call 609.921.8211 for more information.