New in Cancer Treatment at Baptist Health: the NanoKnife System
Baptist Health strives to be on the cutting-edge of healthcare technology in its mission to better serve patients. Baptist Health Medical Center-Little Rock (BHMC-LR) has acquired the new NanoKnife® system. Baptist Health is now one of only four institutions in North America and the first in Arkansas making the groundbreaking system available to patients outside of clinical trials.
The Nano Knife System and Irreversible Electroporation
The Nano Knife system employs irreversible electroporation – a novel new in cancer treatment technology that uses a series of microsecond electrical pulses instead of extreme heat, freezing, radiation or microwave energy – to permanently open cell membranes in cancerous tumors. Once the cell membrane pores are opened, the death of the targeted cancer cells is induced. Surrounding veins, nerves and ducts within the targeted area are largely unaffected by the process around them, providing a compelling tool for procedures in difficult-to-treat parts of the body.
The destruction of veins in certain organs or parts of the body, inherent in more traditional treatments, can result in heavy and in some cases potentially dangerous bleeding if not carefully managed. Destruction of nerves can result in other problems that make treatment in sensitive parts of the body a challenge.
Using the Nano Knife system, specially trained Baptist Health physicians use ultrasound or computed tomography (CT) imaging to insert two or more needlelike probes into the cancerous tumor area. When the NanoKnife probes are in place, the probes rapidly deliver very short electrical pulses that target the tumor. The cancer cells immersed in the electrical pulses open microscopic pores permanently, or irreversibly, which ultimately causes the cells to die, dissolve and be removed by the body’s natural processes. Healthy tissue now has an opportunity to grow and repopulate the area where the tumor was.
“The NanoKnife system provides us with a very advanced and selective way of attacking cancer in the liver, kidney and other sensitive organs without exposing a patient to traditional invasive surgical procedures, harsh chemotherapies, or radiation treatments that might otherwise damage healthy areas of their body,” said Dr. David Hays, an interventional radiologist at Baptist Health.
“Using the NanoKnife system provides us with the potential of better precision and faster treatment as well as for fewer complications,” said Dr. Hays, who performed the procedure at Baptist Health. “The fact that we are one of the few institutions in the country able to bring this to patients really is a mark of distinction and demonstrates the important advances we have been able to adopt for patients here.”
The Nano Knife IRE System is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for surgical ablation of soft-tissue. AngioDynamics, the system’s manufacturer, is seeking FDA approval to actively market the NanoKnife initially for prostate and pancreatic cancer procedures.
Baptist Health is the state’s most comprehensive healthcare system. With more than 175 access points –including major medical centers, family clinics, and therapy and wellness centers – Baptist Health is committed to delivering “All Our Best” in healthcare to the people of Arkansas. For more information about the NanoKnife IRE System, call Baptist Health HealthLine at B-A-P-T-I-S-T (227-8478).