How I Became Interested in Cryoablation and The Cryo Pioneers

Another technique that I hope will become the worldwide standard of care for breast cancer is called cryosurgery, cryotherapy or cryoablation. I was fortunate enough to work with two women who had this procedure done by Dr. Peter Littrup, an interventional radiologist who at the time was at the Karmanos Cancer Center in Detroit. Dr Peter Littrup is now at Crittenton Hospital in Rochester Michigan as of spring 2017 and I am in contact with him as well.

Laura Ross-Paul is the “Patient Pioneer” of cryoablation and she received her cryotherapy treatment in 2003 at the Karmanos Cancer Center in midtown Detroit, Michigan, one of 41 National Cancer Institute’s designated Comprehensive Cancer Centers in the U.S. and the only hospital in Michigan dedicated exclusively to fighting cancer. Laura is the first woman internationally to have her breast cancer frozen.

Dr. Peter Littrup had received FDA approval for a device that he first invented and used to freeze prostate cancer tumors in place using liquid nitrogen years previously. Alex Paul, Laura’s husband, contacted Dr Littrup and asked if they could come see Dr Littrup and asked if cryotherapy could be used for the two biopsy proven breast cancers that Laura had. Dr Littrup said it had never been done before but it was a good application for cryoablation, and he told them to fly to Detroit. Thank goodness for out of the box thinking!

Laura Ross-Paul has co-written a book with her husband, Alex Paul, and her cancer physician, Dr. Littrup, titled They’re Mine and I’m Keeping Them, which documents the story of how she and her husband bucked the system and found Dr. Littrup, whose advanced skill in the field of cryoablation ultimately saved her breast.