IceCure Medical has announced that the John Wayne Cancer Institute (JWCI) at Saint John's Health Center in Santa Monica, California, treated its first breast cancer patient using the IceSense3 cryoablation system in a pilot study evaluating immune responses in patients with operable breast cancer.

In this pilot study, patients undergo cryoablation of their breast cancer before surgery and blood draws at their scheduled office visits.

To understand the immune response, JWCI researchers are studying the make-up of immune cells and factors within the breast cancer and blood after cryoablation.

It is hoped that understanding the immune response elicited by cryoablation will provide information on the mechanisms important for the development of tumor immunity.

Saint John’s Margie Petersen Breast Center and JWCI’s Margie and Robert E. Petersen Breast Cancer Research Program director Dr Maureen Chung said they are excited about this study and the knowledge they will gain regarding how cancers evade the immune system and mechanisms to overcome this resistance.

"Among several criteria to be eligible for this study, patients must be candidates for breast cancer surgery and the cancer must be visible by ultrasound," Dr Chung added.

This clinical trial is supported in part by funds donated by the Fashion Footwear Association of New York Charitable Foundation. IceCure neither sponsors nor funds this clinical trial.

IceCure Medical president and CEO Hezi Himelfarb said, "One of our goals is to support investigator-initiated studies of cryoablation in cancer and data collection, which is the first step in potentially making cryoablation available for the treatment of cancer."

Cryoablation is the technique of using extreme cold to destroy tissue. It has been used for years in medical applications such as dermatology, kidney, prostate and liver to treat both cancerous and non-cancerous tumors.

The IceSense3 cryoablation system was designed for efficient and effective treatment of breast tumors. The system has 510k FDA-approval for benign and malignant disease.