NanoKnife Offers New Form of Hope

NanoKnife, a minimally invasive, non-surgical procedure that provides treatment options for patients with tumors in challenging or high-risk locations, such as the liver, pancreas or kidney, is available to patients at CTCA in Philadelphia and Zion, IL. Instead of using microwave energy, extreme heat or extreme cold, the NanoKnife system uses electrical currents to destroy cancerous tumors.


While the patient is under general anesthesia, the interventional radiologist carefully guides up to six thin needles (electrodes) into the patient’s body and strategically places them around the tumor.


Then, the NanoKnife System sends electrical pulses or currents between each set of needles to puncture permanent nanometer-sized holes into the tumor. This process, called irreversible electroporation (IRE), causes the cancer cells to be unbalanced and triggers a cell “suicide,” thereby destroying the tumor.


The electrical pulses are contained between the electrodes, minimizing damage to surrounding healthy cell tissue, blood vessels and other important structures. After the tumor is destroyed, the body naturally rids itself of the dead cells, which are replaced with healthy cells.


The procedure lasts from two to four hours. After the procedure, the patient is hospitalized overnight for observation and typically discharged the following day. The patient is also given antibiotics before and after the procedure to prevent infection.


Potential Benefits of NanoKnife

NanoKnife provides a minimally invasive option for patients with inoperable or difficult-to-reach tumors, including tumors located near critical structures in the body, such as the gallbladder, bile ducts, bowel and major blood vessels.


Instead of using extreme heat or cold, which could damage normal adjacent tissues, the NanoKnife System uses electrical currents to destroy cancerous tumors.


The following are potential benefits of treatment with the NanoKnife System:

           No open incisions

           Less damage to healthy tissue

           Minimal postoperative pain

           Reduced side effects

           Short hospital stay

           Quick recovery

           Ability to repeat the procedure if new tumors develop


CTCA in Philadelphia is the only hospital in Pennsylvania and New Jersey to offer the technology.