Two freezing cycles ensure interface sterilization by cryosurgery during bone tumor resection

Dror Robinson*, Nahum Halperin, Zvi Nevo

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Cryosurgery utilizing an argon-based system allows bone-tumor interface sterilization, while avoiding the risks of conventional cryosurgery. This study was conducted in order to evaluate the number of freezing cycles required for interface sterilization in cases of aggressive human bone tumors. Sixteen tumors were included (six chondrosarcomas, eight metastatic carcinomas, and two giant cell tumors). All occurred within long bones. In all cases a standardized marginal resection was performed. Following thorough curettage, we sampled five different locations within the tumor interface by a cylindrical hollow trephine. The interface viability was assessed using the XTT method. Quantitative histological evaluation was based on the percentage of live cells divided by total lacunae number in five random medium-power fields. One freezing cycle (5 min. -40°C) reduced tumor viability to ∼25% of prefreezing. However, there were still live specimens. Two or three freezing cycles led to complete interface sterilization. The difference between a single freezing cycle and two freezing cycles was significant (ANOVA, F = 130, P < 0.01). The difference between two freezing cycles and three freezing cycles was not significant (ANOVA, F = 0.14. P > 0.6). The results of the XTT method for the assessment of interface viability correlated well with histological evaluation of the percentage of viable cells (r = 0.89), as well as with cell culture results of frozen vs. prefreezing tumor samples. In conclusion, two freezing cycles are adequate to achieve tumor-bone interface sterilization in aggressive human bone tumors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4-10
Number of pages7
Issue number1
StatePublished - Aug 2001


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