Scientists in Omsk invented a unique cancer-fighting technology that may be a real breakthrough in cancer treatment. It curbs cancer cell proliferation in the human body with the help of cryo-applicators, a Russian technique that created a sensation in the medical world. The method is patented in Russia, has already been demonstrated in Berlin, and will soon travel to Paris. For decades, scientists across the globe have waged a relentless fight against cancer, experimenting with drugs, vaccines, and laser beams.
A team of oncologists in the Omsk Oncology Clinic has suggested freezing cancer cells with the use of cryo-applicators produced at a local research-industrial centre for cryo-medical technologies. At first sight, there seems to be nothing special about it, it’s just a little cryo cap. But, specialists argue that this is a revolution in medicine. Cancer is a very insidious disease. One malignant cell is enough to give rise to a new tumour. Today, most oncologists rely on extensive surgery, when not only a contaminated organ or part of it is removed, but, as much tissue and as many lymph nodes around it to try to prevent future metastases.
Mikhail Vozlyublenny, Deputy Head of the Omsk Oncology Clinic, the inventor of the cyro-applicator, said, “This is a very complicated and risky type of surgery. The usual surgical removal of a lymph node traumatises its capsule, which is very thin, causing cancer cells contained in the lymph node to disseminate. My method, which became the subject of my Kandidatura (a Russian degree equivalent to a PhD: editor’s note) thesis, is as follows, a cancer-contaminated lymph node is frozen by nitrogen monoxide using a cryo-applicator. What happens next is called adhesion, the node turns into an icy ball and glues to the applicator’s cap and then it’s easily removed, literally torn out of the adjacent tissue. The entire operation lasts five minutes. No heavy blood loss, no post-surgical wounds. More than a hundred such surgeries have already been conducted. All of them were successful”.
Cryo-technologies are widely used in gynaecology and proctology as well as in dermatology in the treatment of warts, papillary tumours, and other skin diseases. They also help neurologists treat the inflammation of the trifacial nerve, which is very painful and usually impervious to treatment. But, it’s the first time that cryo-applicators were used against cancer. Is it possible to freeze not just one lymph node, but, a whole contaminated organ? Russian medical researchers are looking for an answer to that question. Possibly, in the near future, they shall be able to give an affirmative answer to that hypothesis.
8 October 2008
Voice of Russia World Service