Antifreeze proteins (AFP) are chemical compounds which can modify ice crystal structure to a needle-like form. They have been shown to enhance destruction of frozen cells. The goal of this study was to determine if these antifreeze proteins can destroy cells in frozen breast tissue and thereby serve as chemical adjuvants to breast cryosurgery. Fresh, normal human breast tissue was injected with solutions of phosphate buffered saline (PBS) or PBS with 10 mg/ml antifreeze protein of type I (AFP-I) then frozen with a cooling rate of 5 °C/min to various subzero temperatures, on a special cryosurgery apparatus. Cell viability was examined with a two stain fluorescent dye test. The results show that a significant percentage of breast cells survive freezing to high subzero temperatures, typical of the temperature on the margin of a frozen cryolesion. The results also show that AFP have the ability to significantly increase cellular destruction in the high subzero temperature range.

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