Cancer is the leading cause of death world wide, the most common form of which is breast cancer. There are over 2 million global cases of breast cancer annually, resulting in nearly 700,000 deaths. The vast majority of cases involve women, many of whom face the prospect of having invasive surgery to remove their tumours.

These painful procedures could be a thing of the past,however, thanks to pioneering new technology called ProSense that has been developed in Israel. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently designated the ProSense system as a Breakthrough Device, official recognition of the impact it can have in saving lives.

The ProSense uses cryotherapy technology to destroy tumours without the need for surgery. Rather than employing traditional methods that involve cutting the diseased cells out of the body, the ProSense utilises a probe being inserted directly into the tumour. Liquid nitrogen then lowers the temperature of the tumour until it freezes into ice. Rapidly alternating between thawing and re-freezing the targeted area destroys the tumour while leaving the healthy tissue around it undamaged.

This radical new procedure was developed by Israeli company IceCure Medical, where several staff members are graduates of Technion – the Israel Institute of Technology.

Technion graduates are frequently seen leading exciting companies such as IceCure. Since 1912, the academic institution has been at the forefront of spearheading Israel’s scientific endeavours. Israel today is the country with the highest percentage of scientists and engineers – and the majority of them studied at the Technion, home to three of Israel’s five science Nobel Laureates.

Alan Aziz, CEO of Technion UK, commented: “Breast cancer is one of the most common health complications a woman can face. Until now, invasive surgery was the only possibility for removing tumours, but Technion graduates are looking to put those old methods on ice.”