A Non-Gas-Based Cryotherapy System for the Treatment of Cervical Intraepithelial Neoplasia: A Mixed-Methods Approach for Initial Development and Testing
Garai, Jillian D
Winkler, Jennifer L
AffiliationUniv Arizona, Mel & Enid Zuckerman Coll Publ Hlth
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherUS AGENCY INT DEVELOPMENT-USAID
CitationA Non-Gas-Based Cryotherapy System for the Treatment of Cervical Intraepithelial Neoplasia: A Mixed-Methods Approach for Initial Development and Testing 2017, 5 (1):57 Global Health: Science and Practice
Rights© Cremer et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License
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AbstractBackground: Gas-based cryotherapy is the most widely used treatment strategy for cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN) in low-resource settings, but reliance on gas presents challenges in low-and middle-income countries (LMICs). Our team adapted the original CryoPen Cryosurgical System, a cryotherapy device that does not require compressed gas and is powered by electricity, for use in LMICs. Methods: A mixed-methods approach was used involving both qualitative and quantitative methods. First, we used a user-centered design approach to identify priority features of the adapted device. U.S.-based and global potential users of the adapted CryoPen participated in discussion groups and a card sorting activity to rank 7 features of the adapted CryoPen: cost, durability, efficacy and safety, maintenance, no need for electricity, patient throughput, and portability. Mean and median rankings, overall rankings, and summary rankings by discussion group were generated. In addition, results of several quantitative tests were analyzed including bench testing to determine tip temperature and heat extraction capabilities; a pathology review of CIN grade 3 cases (N=107) to determine target depth of necrosis needed to achieve high efficacy; and a pilot study (N=5) investigating depth of necrosis achieved with the adapted device to assess efficacy. Results: Discussion groups revealed 4 priority themes for device development in addition to the need to ensure high efficacy and safety and low cost: improved portability, durability, ease of use, and potential for cure. Adaptions to the original CryoPen system included a single-core, single-tip model; rugged carrying case; custom circuit to allow car battery charging; and sterilization by high-level disinfection. In bench testing, there were no significant differences in tip temperature or heat extraction capability between the adapted CryoPen and the standard cryotherapy device. In 80% of the cases in the pilot study, the adapted CryoPen achieved the target depth of necrosis 3.5 mm established in the pathology review. Conclusion: The LMIC-adapted CryoPen overcomes barriers to standard gas-based cryotherapy by eliminating dependency on gas, increasing portability, and ensuring consistent freeze temperatures. Further testing and evaluation of the adapted CryoPen will be pursued to assess scalability and potential impact of this device in decreasing the cervical cancer burden in LMICs.
NoteOpen access journal
VersionFinal published version
SponsorsNational Institutes of Health [1UH2CA189883-01]