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BioMed Research International
Volume 2014, Article ID 521691, 8 pages
Review Article

Cryoablation of Early-Stage Primary Lung Cancer

1Department of Radiology, Hiratsuka City Hospital, 1-19-1 Minamihara, Hiratsuka-shi, Kanagawa 254-0065, Japan
2Department of Diagnostic Radiology, School of Medicine, Keio University, 35 Shinanomachi Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo 160-8582, Japan

Received 21 March 2014; Accepted 21 May 2014; Published 4 June 2014

Academic Editor: Takao Hiraki

Copyright © 2014 Masanori Inoue et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Worldwide, lung cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer, and lobectomy is the gold-standard treatment for early-stage non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). However, many patients are poor surgical candidates for various reasons. Recently, image-guided ablation is being used for lung tumors. Cryoablation has been applied for the treatment of cancer in various nonaerated organs; recently it has been adapted to the treatment of lung tumors. Since an ice ball can be detected by computed tomography (CT), cryoablation of lung tumors is performed under CT guidance. Its first clinical application was reported in 2005, and it has been reported to be feasible in a few studies. Minor complications occurred at a high frequency (up to 70.5%), but major complications were rare (up to 1%). The most common complication is pneumothorax, and most cases need no further intervention. Local efficacy depends on tumor size and presence of a thick vessel close to the tumor. Midterm survival after cryoablation is 77%–88% at 3 years in patients with early-stage NSCLC. Although surgery is the gold-standard treatment for such patients, the initial results of cryoablation are promising. In this paper, the current status of cryoablation for primary lung tumors is reviewed.