TUCSON   520.748.4400

CryoFluor Therapeutics Developing PFC-based Cryosurgery


Tucson, AZ – Apr 09, 2001

Temple University and Research Corporation Technologies (RCT) are partners in a new venture furthering development of a novel cryosurgical technique that uses unconfined, low-temperature perfluorocarbon (PFC) liquids to destroy abnormal tissue.

The two are developing the technology through their company, CryoFluor Therapeutics LLC. The company is working initially on a cryoablation treatment for abnormal uterine bleeding, a condition about one million women in the United States seek treatment for each year. Abnormal uterine bleeding can be due to a variety of conditions including hormone imbalances, thyroid problems, an overgrowth of normal cells in the uterus or cancer, but in the majority of cases its cause is unknown.

Endometrial ablation, an alternative to hysterectomy, is an outpatient surgical procedure for bleeding uncontrolled by hormone therapy. Traditional ablation uses an electrosurgical probe that vaporizes or cuts out the uterine lining, or endometrium. Newer methods attempt to simplify the procedure with balloon catheters that circulate hot water through the balloon or with freezing probes to destroy the endometrium. These techniques have had only moderate success due in large part to incomplete coverage of the endometrial surface. As a result, the endometrium often regenerates and the problem returns.

“Our technology has the potential to be a safer and more successful method of endometrial ablation,” said Christopher P. Martin, CryoFluor Therapeutics general manager and RCT commercialization director. “Administering unconfined PFC liquids can provide complete coverage of the endometrium and should reduce the risk of uterine perforation from cryoprobes and catheters.”

The physical and safety properties of PFC liquids make them ideal cryosurgical compounds. PFC liquids are clear, colorless, odorless, nonconductive and about twice as dense as water. PFCs carry more dissolved oxygen than air and many remain in the liquid phase over a wide range of temperatures. They are very chemically stable, remaining unmetabolized in body tissues.

PFC liquids are already employed as contrast agents for magnetic resonance and ultrasound imaging, as vitreous humor replacements in the eye and in blood substitute products. More recently, varieties of promising PFC liquid ventilation systems have emerged for supporting infants and adults in respiratory failure who cannot be maintained with conventional gas ventilation.

RCT and Temple founded CryoFluor Therapeutics on the work of Thomas Shaffer, Ph.D., Robert Stern, M.D. and Marla Wolfson, Ph.D. At Temple, the researchers developed low-temperature PFC liquids as cryogens and patented their use. Shaffer and Wolfson also pioneered the use of PFC compounds in liquid ventilation and have developed devices and ventilators currently in clinical trials.

CryoFluor Therapeutics is conducting preclinical studies at Temple. If these studies are successful, subsequent funding will support clinical feasibility studies.


Christopher P. Martin, CryoFluor Therapeutics general manager, (520) 748-4465, (520) 748-0025 fax; Antonio M. Goncalves, Ph.D., Temple University associate vice provost for research, (215) 204-7662, (215) 204-7486 fax.