Low-cost tissue-freezing device could expand access to lifesaving breast cancer treatments

July 16, 2019
Cryoablation device

The Kubanda cryoablation device leverages the widespread availability of carbon dioxide in even remote areas of low-income countries to treat breast cancer (Image courtesy of Bailey Surtees)

A reusable breast cancer treatment device created by a group of students at Johns Hopkins University offers a low-cost alternative for women in low-income and low-resource countries.

The tissue-freezing probe uses cryoablation, a method that kills cancerous tissue by exposing it to extremely cold temperatures, and employs carbon dioxide, a widely available and affordable alternative to argon, the current industry standard.

A study detailing the tool’s success in animal studies was published this month in PLOS One.

“Innovation in cancer care doesn’t always mean you have to create an entirely new treatment,” says Bailey Surtees, a recent Johns Hopkins University biomedical engineering graduate and the study’s first author. “Sometimes it means radically innovating on proven therapies such that they’re redesigned to be accessible to the majority of the world’s population.”

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The Johns Hopkins Center for Bioengineering Innovation & Design