Ask the IceCure Guru
ANSWERS FROM OUR CLINICAL TEAM
1. What best practice approaches for tumor treatment have you seen from other ProSenseR users during COVID-19?
We are seeing our clinicians (interventional radiologists) continue to treat oncology patients successfully even in the center of the pandemic locations (such as in Italy, France, Germany and other locations)
As minimally-invasive cryoablation procedures often take place in the CT-room within the radiology department rather than the operating room (required for traditional surgical tumor removal), our physicians have been able to continue cryoablation treatment for oncology patients while surgeries may have stopped. Furthermore, with no requirement for general anesthesia and minimal hospitalization, cryoablation has also proved to be a good approach to reduce COVID-19 risks to both patients and medical teams on the frontline as minimum medical staff resources are needed.
In other places, where procedures and surgeries have stopped, we have seen that cryoablation is often one of the first procedures to resume. Our ability to provide complete remote support prior and during the procedure, if needed, has proved a good best practice approach during COVID-19.
2. Many patients with cancer are struggling to receive treatment for their cancers due to hospitals cancelling or delaying surgeries and other procedures. How have other healthcare organizations utilized ProSense during this time?
One of the biggest challenges facing healthcare providers and hospitals is knowing what is the right strategy to adopt for the treatment of patients with early-stage cancer during COVID-19. Based on the experience of our users throughout the world there seems to be a real push to keep patients out of the hospital. The main goal being to reduce patient risk, while easing strain on medical resources and operating rooms, which many are wanting to keep free in case they are needed for ICU beds. As such, each country has adapted their use of ProSenseR based on their own specific patient needs and available resources.
Overall, we are seeing organizations really take advantage of the ProSenseR system. As a minimal-invasive treatment – it enables many procedures for breast cancer to continue to be performed quickly in-office settings, completely removing the need for a hospital operating room visit. For the treatment of localized kidney, lung and other cancer indications, our interventional radiologists are also continuing to treat patients. As cryoblation is fast and in most cases allows same-day recovery with no hospitalization, ProSenseR allows hospitals to provide treatment while keeping patient time in hospitals to a minimum.
Of course, the use of ProSenseR is guided by each of our user’s expertise and patient knowledge with the aim to keep the patient safe while enabling the best of care. As COVID-19 is evolving every day so are our user’s approaches and strategies.
3. What advice do you have for doctors using cryoablation therapies during the COVID-19 pandemic to ensure patient safety and lower risk?
IceCure Medical recommends all safety measures taken for surgeries should be respected as well as specific COVID-19 measures applied in their institutions. Many healthcare institutions have smartly separated their locations into COVID-19 specific areas allowing where possible oncology and other patients to continue to receive treatment safely away from COVID-19 quarantined areas. Moreover, as cryoablation is relatively quick, painless and minimally-invasive, physicians are seeing the benefit of the treatment to help minimize risk of infection from COVID-19 in cancer patients who maybe more at risk of infection due to their weakened immune systems.
4. We are considering trying the ProSenseR How would you deliver training and installation should COVID-19 prevent a physical visit?
Over the last few months the IceCure team has really worked hard to enable full remote installation and training support, with no physical visit needed. In fact, we have now successfully delivered complete remote training and installation in two new countries this month.
Supported by real-time video guidance from our clinical and support team, alongside pre-recorded video footage and presentations, we provide our distributors and clinicians with the information and insight as though we are physically there. From opening the ProSenseR shipping package all the way to performing a cryoablation demo session and live cases, we oversee every stage of installation and training so our users are completely prepared and ready.
5. How effective is the ProSenseR system for treating breast cancer?
We have been treating fibroadenomas, benign tumors, successfully since clinical trials began in 2012. Clinical results (Hahn M et al.) showed ProSense proved functional and safe, while showing meaningful reduction in volume, palpability, [and] pain” caused by the fibroadenoma in the treated patients. 96% of patients and physicians rated cosmetic results as excellent or good and at 12 months the average volume of the cryoablated zone was reduced by 75%.
We are currently conducting the largest controlled multi-site clinical trial ever performed – the ICE3 trial, for nitrogen-based cryoablation of small, low-risk, early stage malignant breast tumors without subsequently removing them. The trial began in 2014 and has completed recruitment and cryoablation of 200 patients in 19 hospitals and medical centers across the US. Early promising results were presented at the 2019 Annual Meeting of Breast Surgeons and showed there were no significant device-related adverse events or complications reported. 95% of doctors and patients were happy with cosmetic results and 76% of patients resumed their daily lives within 48 hours of treatment.
6. How are users of ProSenseR mitigating risks for tumor patients during COVID-19?
As mentioned above, using minimally-invasive solutions like cryoablation, helps shorten hospital stay, lowers risk of adverse events, reduces complications and reduces the need for operating room settings (helping lower strain on medical resources during COVID-19).
In addition, shorter treatment times are obtained while using cryoablation procedures in an in-office setting. This further supports healthcare institutions to continue to provide palliative care, while minimizing and shortening their healthcare visits and risk of infection from COVID-19 within hospitals and medical clinics.