Patients with pancreatic cancer, liver cancer or other tumors not safely treatable by traditional methods now have a new option in Central Florida — the NanoKnife. Orlando Health UF Health Cancer Center is the first surgical center in Central Florida to provide this leading-edge technology that destroys soft-tissue tumors, including those that have spread to the liver, pancreas, kidneys and lungs.
NanoKnife is the trade name for a device that can ablate (destroy) vital tissue by means of a process called “irreversible electroporation,” which uses bursts of high voltage to penetrate cell membranes, causing them to die. The device is approved by the FDA for surgical ablation of soft tissue.
Patients with advanced pancreatic cancer treated by NanoKnife have demonstrated a longer survival rate. A study of the use of NanoKnife in 200 surgeries at six surgical centers showed that the survival rate of advanced pancreatic cancer reached close to 24 months, nearly double the survival rate with the latest chemotherapy and radiation treatments.
Instead of using traditional surgical procedures or radiation therapy, which could damage surrounding tissue, the NanoKnife uses electrical currents to precisely target and destroy hard-to-reach cancerous tumors. Electrodes placed into the patient’s body send electrical pulses directly into the tumor. The electrical pulses open the cell walls of the tumor and cause the cancer cells to be unbalanced, triggering a cell “suicide” and destroying the tumor. Tissue, veins and nerves within the targeted areas are largely unaffected by the process.
After the tumor is destroyed, the body naturally rids itself of the dead cells. Healthy cells and tissue regenerate within the area through the body’s own natural ability to heal.
Your oncologist can determine if you are a candidate for the NanoKnife procedure. This technology is most appropriate for:
Patients with a cardiac pacemaker, abnormal heartbeat or nerve stimulators are not eligible for this procedure.