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Cryosurgery for lung cancer.


Cryosurgery is suited for patients with lung cancer who are not considered for lung resection because of the advanced stage of the disease or the patient's poor general condition or poor respiratory function and with tumor recurrence following radiotherapy, chemotherapy or lung resection, and those patients who have localized lung cancer but refuse to receive operative therapy. Procedures of cryosurgery for lung cancer can be performed through endobronchial, direct intrathoracic (at exploratory thoracotomy) or percutaneous routes depending upon location and size of tumor. Six hundred and twenty-five patients with Non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) received percutaneous cryoablation in Fuda Cancer Hospital Guangzhou, China. One hundred and fifty patients were followed-up for 12 to 38 months. Results showed that 1-, 2-, and 3-year survival rates were 64%, 45% and 32%, respectively. The adverse effects after cryosurgery of lung cancer include haemoptysis, pneumothorax, bloody thorax, pleural effusion and pulmonary infection which are generally mild, transient, and recovery with symptomatic management. In vitro studies have shown cryotherapy of lung cancer cells can improve the immune system to trigger the specific anti-tumor response. In the future, comparative studies between this modality and other therapies should be conducted for the treatment of lung cancer. In addition, more attention needs to be put on the immunomodulators that enhance the cryoimmunology.