Mayo Doctors Will Test Cryotherapy for Mesothelioma Tumors

Treatment & Doctors
Reading Time: 3 mins
Publication Date: 01/08/2016
Fact Checked
Our fact-checking process begins with a thorough review of all sources to ensure they are high quality. Then we cross-check the facts with original medical or scientific reports published by those sources, or we validate the facts with reputable news organizations, medical and scientific experts and other health experts. Each page includes all sources for full transparency.
Reviewed is the nation’s most trusted mesothelioma resource

The Mesothelioma Center at has provided patients and their loved ones the most updated and reliable information on mesothelioma and asbestos exposure since 2006.

Our team of Patient Advocates includes a medical doctor, a registered nurse, health services administrators, veterans, VA-accredited Claims Agents, an oncology patient navigator and hospice care expert. Their combined expertise means we help any mesothelioma patient or loved one through every step of their cancer journey.

More than 30 contributors, including mesothelioma doctors, survivors, health care professionals and other experts, have peer-reviewed our website and written unique research-driven articles to ensure you get the highest-quality medical and health information.

About The Mesothelioma Center at

  • Assisting mesothelioma patients and their loved ones since 2006.
  • Helps more than 50% of mesothelioma patients diagnosed annually in the U.S.
  • A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau.
  • 5-star reviewed mesothelioma and support organization.
Learn More About Us


"My family has only the highest compliment for the assistance and support that we received from The Mesothelioma Center. This is a staff of compassionate and knowledgeable individuals who respect what your family is experiencing and who go the extra mile to make an unfortunate diagnosis less stressful. Information and assistance were provided by The Mesothelioma Center at no cost to our family."
Mesothelioma patient’s daughter
  • Google Review Rating
  • BBB Review Rating

How to Cite’s Article


Povtak, T. (2021, June 10). Mayo Doctors Will Test Cryotherapy for Mesothelioma Tumors. Retrieved February 3, 2023, from


Povtak, Tim. "Mayo Doctors Will Test Cryotherapy for Mesothelioma Tumors.", 10 Jun 2021,


Povtak, Tim. "Mayo Doctors Will Test Cryotherapy for Mesothelioma Tumors." Last modified June 10, 2021.

The Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, opened a mesothelioma clinical trial involving intrapleural cryotherapy before surgery to trigger an anti-tumor response.

It is the only cryotherapy clinical trial for mesothelioma conducted in the U.S. Two previous cryotherapy trials for mesothelioma at other cancer centers in 2009 and 2011 were withdrawn or terminated.

Cryotherapy involves dissipating small cancer tumors by freezing them with controlled nitrogen vapors. It has been used with other cancers, but it remains a controversial procedure as an adjuvant therapy for mesothelioma.

The Pacific Meso Center in Los Angeles, whose medical adviser is well-known thoracic surgeon Dr. Robert Cameron, has performed a slightly different form of cryotherapy, or cryoablation, on some patients with much success.

“This is the early, explorative stage where we’re just looking at what it is doing to the body, and how it is stimulating the immune response,” Dr. Shanda Blackmon, Mayo Clinic surgeon overseeing the trial, told CBS News recently.

Clinical Trial Procedure

The cryotherapy in the trial will be conducted during a staging pleuroscopy, a minimally invasive procedure done with a tiny camera in the operating room to better determine the extent of the cancer. It will be done two weeks before major surgery.

The procedure will involve two or three applications of a cryogenic spray within 30 seconds of each other on specific tumor sites. Multiple tumor locations can be treated during the procedure.

The study will better evaluate the safety and effectiveness of cryotherapy. It also should measure the immunotherapy influence on the patient’s cancer.

Doctors hope the cryotherapy may help reduce the aggressiveness of the surgery, preserve more of the lung involved, and lead to a quicker recovery and less recurrence of the cancer.

The cryotherapy is less toxic to healthy tissue when the tumors are closely targeted. It also can be used separately as a palliative measure to control the growth of tumors.

Researchers estimate a trial enrollment of 15 patients who will be measured against a control group undergoing standard of care treatment. The trial is expected to end by January 2017.

Mesothelioma Trials at Mayo Clinic

The Mayo Clinic in Rochester currently is conducting four other clinical trials for mesothelioma patients. Those trials involve:

  • High-dose radiation before major surgery: Reverses the standard order of treatment to determine its safety and therapeutic effect. The Princess Margaret Cancer Center in Toronto regularly performs this procedure. It is not currently implemented in the U.S.
  • An enhanced, intrapleural measles virus vaccine: Shows an ability to kill cancer cells without harming healthy ones by jump-starting a patient’s own immune system. Safety and dosage levels are being examined.
  • Observational study: Evaluation of survival times and response rates for patients who take the trimodal approach to treatment involving chemotherapy, surgery and radiation.
  • Early palliative care integrated with standard care: The belief is mesothelioma patients will experience fewer physical and emotional issues from the cancer. Palliative care typically focuses on improving quality of life.
open book icon vector illustration
Medically Reviewed by Top Mesothelioma Doctors
Free Mesothelioma Guide