Innovative NanoKnife system offers a treatment option for difficult to treat pancreatic and liver cancer

A new cancer treatment technology, called NanoKnife, provides a treatment option for cancers that are the most difficult to treat, including those occurring in the liver and pancreas. Over the last twenty years inoperable cancers have been treated using radiofrequency ablation, which in essence uses heat to destroy cancer cells. NanoKnife uses electrical pulses to destroy cancer cells whilst leaving surrounding tissue unaffected. 

Professor Edward Leen has pioneered this treatment in the UK and believes that it offers a number of benefits over existing therapies.

He says: “NanoKnife is a safer technique compared with more traditional thermal-based ablative methods. It has a faster recovery time and is much less painful. In addition, it combines well with chemotherapy, which makes it more effective and there is a lower risk of recurrence of the cancer.”

Cancer Research Uk has recently published cancer survival figures that reveal the huge progress that has been made in cancer treatment over the last forty years. However, the survival rates for pancreatic cancer have remained largely the same over this time with only 1% of patients diagnosed surviving for 10 years.The primary reason for this is that it is difficult to detect and diagnse in the early stages when treatment is most likely to be successful.

Abnormal, uncontrolled cell division resulting in a malignant tumour that may invade surrounding tissues or spread to distant parts of the body. Full medical glossary
The basic unit of all living organisms. Full medical glossary
The use of chemical substances to treat disease, particularly cancer. Full medical glossary
A large abdominal organ that has many important roles including the production of bile and clotting factors, detoxification, and the metabolism of proteins, carbohydrates and fats. Full medical glossary
A gland behind the stomach that produces digestive enzymes and the hormones insulin and glucagon, which together regulate glucose levels in the blood. Full medical glossary
A glandular organ that secretes digestive enzymes and hormones. Full medical glossary
Relating to the pancreas. Full medical glossary
A group of cells with a similar structure and a specialised function. Full medical glossary