Background: Cryoablation is a well-established technique to treat fibroadenomas. Pilot studies suggest this could be an effective non-surgical treatment for breast cancer. American College of Surgeons Oncology Group Z1072 is a phase II trial exploring the effectiveness of cryoablation in the treatment of breast cancers. Methods: The primary endpoint of Z1072 was the rate of complete tumor ablation, defined as no remaining invasive breast cancer (IBC) or ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) on pathologic examination of the targeted lesion. A secondary objective was to evaluate the negative predictive value of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to determine residual IBC or DCIS. Eligible patients included those with unifocal invasive ductal breast cancer ≤2 cm, with <25 % intraductal component and tumor enhancement on MRI. A total of 19 centers contributed 99 patients, of which 86 patients (87 breast cancers) were evaluable for data analysis. Results: Final pathology results, regardless of whether residual IBC/DCIS was in the targeted ablation zone or elsewhere in the breast, showed successful ablation in 66/87 (75.9 %) cancers. The 90 % confidence interval for the estimate of successful cryoablation was 67.1–83.2, with the one-sided lower-sided 90 % CI of 69.0. The negative predictive value of MRI was 81.2 % (90 % CI 71.4–88.8). When multifocal disease outside of the targeted cryoablation zone was not defined as an ablation failure, 80/87 (92 %) of the treated cancers had a successful cryoablation. Conclusion: Further studies with modifications on the Z1072 protocol could be considered to evaluate the role for cryoablation as a non-surgical treatment of early-stage breast cancer.
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