Freezing kidney cancers could fight disease

March 13, 2009 2:47:10 PM PDT
A new study has found a non-invasive technique can eradicate small tumors. The procedure is known as cryoablation and some researchers now say it should be the "new gold standard" of treatment for kidney cancer.

But not all cancer experts agree, saying more research is needed.

Here's how it works: High-tech imaging is used to locate the tumors along with small probes inserted through a tiny hole in the skin to direct freezing cold to the trouble spot.

Doctors at Johns Hopkins say they were able to treat kidney cancer tumors and get rid of them completely. The catch is, the data they have only relates to kidney cancers that are smaller than 5 centimeters, or 2 inches, in diameter.

Scientists say they believe for tumors that are up to 4 centimeters cryoablation, or freezing, should be the first option for treatment not surgery.