Focal Cryotherapy in the Treatment of Localized Prostate Cancer

Huy D. Nguyen, BS; Bryan J. Allen, MD; Julio M. Pow-Sang, MD


Cancer Control. 2013;20(3):177-180. 

In This Article


The mechanism of cell death in tissue treated with cryotherapy includes direct cellular injury that occurs secondary to cellular dehydration and the formation of ice crystals within the cell. As the tissue begins to freeze, solute concentration increases outside of the cell, resulting in osmotic dehydration. The dehydration causes disruption of intracellular proteins and destabilization of the cell membrane. Additionally, freezing results in stasis within the blood vessels of the prostate gland, leading to tissue necrosis secondary to ischemia.[5] The treatment may be selectively applied to part of the prostate-bearing cancer and could potentially reduce the morbidity associated with whole gland treatment.[6]