Why I Perform Cryoablation
I started performing cryoablation of benign breast tumors (fibroadenomas) in 2002, not because I was interested in treatment of fibroadenomas, but because I believed that cryoablation would one-day become an important treatment option for selected patients with early stage breast cancer, particularly elderly patients with non-aggressive disease.
In 2004, to develop I skills and to educate other surgeons, I started a minimally-invasive breast biopsy clinic at the Los Angeles County U.S.C. Medical Center to provide patients a treatment option for fibroadenomas and to teach breast surgeon trainees cryoablation procedures and other minimally-invasive breast biopsy procedures. In 2009, I traveled to Japan to study with Dr. Eisuke Fukuma of Kamogawa Medical Center who had already begun treating breast cancers with cryoablation.
Later that same year, I became a principal investigator in the American College of Surgeons Oncology Group’s Z1072 cryoablation-followed-by-surgical removal feasibility trial which later found cryoablation to be highly effective at ablating small breast cancers. When the Z1072 trial closed in 2016, I launched an investigator-initiated, multi-center cryoablation-without-surgical removal trial, which I named the FROST (Freezing without Resection Of Small Tumors) Trial, an ongoing clinical trial which thus far shows cryoablation to be an effective alternative to surgery for stage I breast cancer. ---- Dennis R. Holmes, M.D., F.A.C.S.