Cryosurgery is a clinical therapy aiming at destroying the target of diseased tissues through a controlled deep freezing and subsequent rewarming [1,2]. Applications of this treatment are quite wide in skin cancers, glaucoma, lung tumor etc. [3]-[10]. In contrast to the freezing therapy, heating of tumors has also long been proved to be an effective way of selectively killing the cells of cancerous tissues [11]-[13]. Clinical tests showed that heating the tumor to above a critical minimum temperature such as 42–43 °C for an extended period could effectively destroy the target. It was recently realized that freezing immediately followed by a rapid and strong heating of the target tissues would significantly improve the treatment effect [14]-[16]. Therefore, an apparatus thus developed will be of great importance in cancer clinics. But until now, most of the currently available cryoprobe systems are only capable of performing a single freezing function, in which the treated tissue is often let to naturally re-warm by simply switching off the apparatus. The first one and only commercially available cryoprobe system aiming at both freezing and heating therapy is perhaps Endocare Corporation’s Ar-He Cryoprobe system [14]. However, the highest tissue temperature for this system to achieve is about 0–20 °C [17], which is not high enough to thermally destroy the target tissues. Presently, there is a strong lack of freezing applicators with powerful heating functions for hyperthermia purposes. Without strong enough heating, tumors may still have a chance to regenerate. This is perhaps one of the critical reasons to impede the widespread of cryosurgery in destroying pathological tissues.

This content is only available via PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.