Cryoablation is emerging as an effective, minimally invasive treatment for localized prostate cancer.

Cryoablation is revolutionizing localized prostate cancer treatment by abolishing the "one shot" treatment method of having only one chance at treating the cancer. When used as a primary method of treatment, cryoablation is repeatable if necessary, or it can be used as a secondary treatment when radiation fails.


What Is SeedNet™?

SeedNet is the new generation in cryoablation for prostate cancer. Developed by Galil Medical, ultra-thin needles, exclusive to the SeedNet system, produce iceballs of extreme sub-zero temperatures that thoroughly destroy the prostate including all cancerous tissue. Argon gas provides controllable freezing capability and replaces the previously used liquid nitrogen cryogen.

SeedNet combines the good curative rates of cryoablation with an accurate and easily performed technique that can be completed in under two hours.


How Does SeedNet™ Work?

An insertion template like that used in radioactive seed implantation (brachytherapy) is used. Ultra-thin SeedNet needles are easily guided via ultrasound imaging and inserted through the perineum into the prostate. Argon gas circulating through these needles generates very low temperatures causing the formation of ice. Multiple precision iceballs combine to create a frozen region that conforms to the size and shape of the prostate. The freezing process is lethal to all cells and thoroughly ablates all prostatic tissue.

The entire SeedNet procedure, including the freezing and thawing processes, is carefully monitored in real-time with ultrasound imaging. A urethral warmer is inserted in the penis to protect the urethra. The doctor plans where to place the needles prior to the procedure so that the entire prostate will be completely treated. However, at any time during the procedure the doctor is able to change the placement of the needles or add and remove needles making this an extremely flexible and user-friendly system. Either spinal or general anesthesia is used during the procedure, depending upon what the patient and doctor decide.

Similar to radical prostatectomy and radiation therapy, SeedNet treats the entire prostate for cancer and not only a specific area that may contain a tumor. In order to insure the destruction of all cancer cells, the goal is to freeze tissue beyond the membrane that encases the prostate. In doing so, nerve bundles associated with erection may be affected, and as with radical prostatectomy and radiation therapy, erectile dysfunction is a potential complication.


Who Is a Candidate for Cryoablation?

Cryoablation is a successful treatment option for the many prostate cancer patients who are seeking minimally invasive treatment who prefer not to have radiation. The procedure can be used for a wide range of disease stages from locally confined prostate cancer (T1) to locally advanced disease, i.e., prostate cancer that has extended beyond the capsule (T3).

Cryoablation may offer some advantage over radiation, in particular patients with high Gleason scores. Generally men with smaller prostates are better candidates for cryoablation. As in brachytherapy, those with larger prostates can undergo hormonal therapy to decrease prostate size prior to this therapy.


Benefits of Cryoablation Utilizing the SeedNet™ System

  • Viable and effective less-invasive treatment option: many patients are unwilling or unable to undergo surgery or radiation treatment.

  • Minimally invasive: uses ultra-thin 17 gauge needles no larger than biopsy needles.

  • Radiation-free.

  • Out-patient or brief overnight hospital stay, unlike surgery that requires several days' hospitalization.

  • Quick recovery time: mobility same day of the procedure and full return to normal routine within a few days.

  • Can be used as salvage therapy in radiation failure.