A private Israeli hospital in Haifa will start using IceCure Medical Ltd.’s tumor freezing technology within the next few months to fight benign breast tumors and cancerous kidney tumors without the need for surgery, the Israeli medical devices firm said.
The firm, whose shares are traded on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange, said Wednesday that commercial treatment of its product will start for the first time in Israel at the Elisha Hospital, using the startup’s ProSense system.
IceCure in May reported (Hebrew) results of a breast cancer trial that showed a low rate of cancer recurrence of cancer after treatment using its IceSense3 system, an earlier version of ProSense.
The treatment lasts for 20 to 40 minutes in a clinic, without surgery.
The trial, conducted in 18 clinics in the US, consisted of 146 patients with low-risk breast cancer, with only one patient showing a recurrence of the cancer. Seventy-six percent of patients returned to full daily activities 48 hours after the treatment and 95% of patients and doctors reported satisfaction with the cosmetic results, the company said in a statement.
Shares of the Caesarea-based company were trading 30% higher at 1:23 p.m. in Tel Aviv on Wednesday, bringing the share rise in the past 12 months to 81% and the firm’s market value to NIS 79 million ($21 million).
Treatment of the breast will be performed by Dr. Rafi Klein, head of breast surgery at Elisha Hospital and Rambam Medical Center, in his clinic at Elisha Hospital for patients with fibroadenoma type benign tumors of up to five centimeters in diameter as an alternative to surgery, the statement said. In the future, the hospital also plans to perform these treatments on patients with cancerous breast tumors.
Treatment of the kidneys will be performed by Prof. Ofer Nativ, head of the Urological Department at the Bnai Zion Medical Center and Elisha Hospital, and by Dr. Robert Sachner, head of Interventional Radiology at the Bnai Zion Medical Center and Elisha Hospital.
The ProSense treatment is done using ultrasound or CT imaging to guide a small probe, a thin hollow needle developed by the company, into the tumor. The system then uses liquid nitrogen to create extremely cold temperatures to destroy, or ablate, the targeted tumor, without affecting the healthy surrounding tissue and without leaving scars or changes to the appearance of the breast, the company said.
After the ablation is performed, patients are able to return to daily activities. The followup procedures are similar to those after a surgical removal of a cyst.
The commercialization of the procedure in Israel joins the “successful commercial treatment that has already been performed with our technology in Japan, the US, Hong Kong and Europe for various indications including breast, lung, bone, kidney and liver cancers,” said IceCure’s CEO Eyal Shamir in the statement.
The start of commercial treatment in Israel “represents acknowledgement by the medical establishment in Israel that our technology is an alternative that makes unnecessary the need for surgery and cutting open the breast,” he said.
The medical device company was founded in 2006 and held its initial public offering of shares in 2011.
“Freezing technology is the correct alternative for the improvement of the patients’ experience and of course the cosmetic results,” said Elisha Hospital director general Dr. Shlomo Israelit in the statement.