Dennis R. Holmes, M.D., F.A.C.S., with locations in Santa Monica, Glendale, and Los Angeles, California, is an expert in breast cryoablation (tumor freezing) with over 15 years of experience treating benign tumors and breast cancers. He serves as principal investigator of the FROST Trial, a national clinical trial evaluating the use of cryoablation as an alternative to surgery for the treatment of early stage breast cancer.
Cryoablation is a groundbreaking new treatment for breast tumor freezing. Cryoablation has been used for many years on liver, skin, and cervical cancers, as well as benign tumors of the breast. It is not until recently, however, that cryoablation has been adapted to treat breast cancer. The results of a national study co-authored by Dr. Holmes found cryoablation to be most effective at killing breast cancers measuring 2 cm or smaller.
The cryoablation procedure is similar to having an ultrasound-guided needle biopsy of the breast. The procedure is performed in the office with the patient awake and comfortable. First, ultrasound of the breast is performed to identify the location of the cancer. Next, local anesthetic is injected into the skin and into the interior of the breast. A small (3 mm) skin incision is made, followed by the insertion of a needle-like instrument called a cryoprobe through the center of the breast cancer using ultrasound to guide the way. The cryoablation system is then turned on and liquid nitrogen circulates within the cryoprobe to freeze the cancer and a surrounding rim of normal tissue to a temperature of -185, an extremely cold cancer-killing temperature. The freezing process takes approximately 30 minutes and the entire procedure typically takes about 1 hour from start to finish.
For detailed information about cryoablation and to observe a video of Dr. Holmes performing an actual cryoablation procedure, visit www.cryoablation.com.
Cryoablation may be obtained under the following circumstances:
The cost of all trial-related procedures (e.g., cryoablation, follow-up MRI’s and post-cryoablation needle biopsy) are free of charge to women who qualify for and participate in the FROST Trial.
Out-of-town patients may submit their imaging studies and pathology reports online to Dr. Holmes’s for assessment of your eligibility for the FROST Trial or for receipt of cryoablation off-protocol.
To verify complete tumor kill, patients treated with cryoablation as part of the FROST Trial are required to undergo a repeat needle biopsy of the cryoablation site six months after cryoablation to confirm that no living cancer cells remain. Surgical removal of cancer will be recommended only if living cancer cells are found.
Participants in the FROST Trial must undergo the following treatments:
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