Advancing Ablative Tumor Therapies Into Primary Treatments
This article was originally published in Start Up
For many cancers, there is a need for a third option between the two current choices of radical tissue destruction and watchful waiting. New cancer ablation devices in development have the potential to fill that gap. Ablative tumor therapies can play a role in eradication of early-stage and localized tumors, as salvage therapies in patients who've failed other therapies, and for patients whose health precludes surgery or further radiation. Ablation has many advantages. It's a cost-effective and minimally invasive alternative to robotic surgery or radiation devices, and may lead to fewer side effects and complications than current primary tumor treatments. But proving that ablation can save lives compared to more radical forms of therapy requires clinical evidence from multiyear outcome trials that few smaller companies are willing to invest in. There's little evidence to date that venture investors will see returns. But the race is on among companies hoping to become the first device approved for low-risk, localized prostate cancer, a potentially game-changing event.
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