Knoxville Comprehensive Breast Center Introduces Tumor Freezing Procedure For Treatment Of Early Stage Breast Cancer


Knoxville Comprehensive Breast Center announced today that it has acquired the Visica® 2 Treatment System, a cryoablation device that uses extreme cold (cryo) to destroy tissue (ablation). Developed by Sanarus Technologies, the Visica 2 Treatment System destroys the tumor by freezing it with liquid nitrogen and damaging the adjacent vasculature that fuels tumor growth. Dr. Kozlowski is the first clinical breast radiologist in Tennessee to use the Visica 2 Treatment System to treat patients with early stage breast cancer.

Kamilia Kozlowski, M.D. is a board-certified radiologist who has devoted her professional career to the field of breast imaging. She started the first breast center in Knoxville over 30 years ago with a mission to save lives and streamline the delivery of quality breast health care for women in the region.

Since its inception, the Knoxville Comprehensive Breast Center has been at the forefront of independent breast centers nationwide. Clinical Breast Radiology, a specialty developed by Dr. Kozlowski, differs from traditional radiology in that clinical breast radiologists manage both the diagnostic and clinical aspects of care. Patients are not burdened with visits to multiple specialists, as clinical breast radiologists can diagnose and direct treatment in one setting.


“It’s so rewarding to offer this advanced technology to our patients with early stage breast cancer, when appropriate. Cryoablation is a targeted, precision treatment that can obviate the need for surgery in many cases,” said Dr. Kozlowski. “Comprehensive breast care involves identifying an abnormality early and treating it before it has a chance to become problematic. There’s nothing better than seeing patients walk out of the office after the procedure, content in knowing that their early stage lesion has been taken care of without surgery or a change in the shape of their breast.”

Cryoablation—also referred to as tumor freezing—is a minimally invasive procedure done under ultrasound guidance in the doctors’ office or radiology suite. After injection of local anesthesia, a thin probe is inserted through the skin directly into the tumor. Liquid nitrogen is pumped into the probe to form an “ice ball” around the lesion. Freezing destroys the tumor cells, which are then reabsorbed by the body over time. The procedure can be done in under an hour with most patients reporting minimal discomfort and a resumption of normal activity right away. Little, if any, visible scarring occurs. Because no breast tissue is removed during the procedure, the natural shape of the breast is maintained.

Dr. Kozlowski recently presented data at Synergy 2016 – an annual multidisciplinary interventional oncology conference held in Miami, Florida. Results from her study of cryoablation in eight early estrogen-positive breast cancer patients indicate that another benefit to cryoablation is an increase in the humoral response, i.e., the formation of antibodies to the tumor that help prevent the spread of distant disease. Dr. Kozlowski also reported on the potential for significant cost savings to patients, insurance companies and government, were more early stage breast cancers treated with cryoablation.

“Breast cancer is still the number one cancer affecting women that continues to increase in incidence as women age. Because the average breast cancer doubles in size every year, I encourage women to be diligent about annual screening,” said Dr. Kozlowski. “Ideally, we’ll continue to find more breast cancers early and treat them in-office with this innovative and effective procedure.”

In a 5-year multicenter study funded by the National Cancer Institute and sponsored by the Alliance for Clinical Trials in Oncology, cryoablation with the Visica 2 Treatment System was shown to be 100% effective for complete ablation of invasive ductal breast cancer tumors <1.0cm. Results from this breast cancer study (ACOSOG Z1072), which included a 5-year follow-up, were published in the Annals of Surgical Oncology. The Visica 2 Treatment System was the exclusive device used in the Z1072 study and showed cryoablation effective in 92% of the targeted lesions.

Cryoablation with the Visica 2 Treatment System is a safe and effective option for patients whose breast tumor is less than 4cm in diameter, visible on sonogram and has been confirmed with a biopsy.

About Knoxville Comprehensive Breast Center
Founded in 1983 by Kamilia F. Kozlowski, M.D., KCBC was the first independent breast center of its kind in Tennessee and remains one of only a few nationwide. The multidisciplinary practice delivers streamlined, cost-effective care in a woman-friendly setting. Specialists include clinical breast radiologists, a dedicated breast surgeon, medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, a breast pathologist, plastic and reconstructive surgeon and lymphedema specialist. Find out more by visiting

About Sanarus Technologies
In 2001, the Visica 2 Treatment System was the first system available for cryoablation of fibroadenomas. Since then, our system has been used to successfully treat thousands of patients. The System is FDA-cleared for the ablation of cancerous or malignant tissue and benign tumors. At Sanarus, we pride ourselves in developing innovative solutions for the nonsurgical treatment of breast tumors. We are headquartered in Pleasanton, CA and all of our products are manufactured in the USA. Find out more at