Piedmont Hospital is increasing the treatment options available to cancer patients by offering a new technique that physicians can use to kill cancerous tumor cells without harming nearby healthy tissue.
“Piedmont Hospital is the sixth facility in the United States to offer NanoKnife™ to cancer patients outside of clinical trials,” said Steven Citron, M.D., interventional radiologist. “It provides a treatment option to patients who have no other alternatives due to the location of the tumor.”
While other techniques work with intense heat or cold to kill cancer cells, NanoKnife™ uses electrical pulses that minimize damage to surrounding nerves, blood vessels and lymphatic systems. During a procedure, a physician inserts a needle-like probe into a tumor, which then fires off a series of electrical pulses into the cancerous cells. The pulses open up the cancer cell membrane and, when enough electricity is applied, the cells do not close and the tumor dies. The surrounding blood vessels and lymphatic systems can then assist in removing the dead cells from the body.
“NanoKnife™ is a tremendous leap forward for addressing tumors in critical organs such as the liver, kidneys or lungs,” said Marty T. Sellers, M.D., a multi-organ transplant specialist and medical director of Piedmont Hospital’s liver cancer service. “Other techniques use temperature extremes to kill a tumor, but that approach can not only cause serious harm to surrounding healthy tissue but may also leave a tumor adjacent to a large vessel inadequately treated.”
For more information on NanoKnife™ and to view an educational video visit piedmontcancer.org.