NanoKnife joining the treatment armoury against cancer

Princess Grace Hospital, one of the best-equipped multi-disciplinary private hospitals in London, has become the first hospital in the UK to offer NanoKnife, a new treatment for inoperable malignant tumours. Until now, inoperable tumours have been treated using radiofrequency ablation therapy to heat up the cancer cells. This heat treatment contains a number of risks and is unsuitable for patients with tumours near blood vessels, but the new NanoKnife hopes to revolutionise the treatment of these types of tumours.

NanoKnife works by sending a 3000 volt electric current to kill the cancer cells without the need for surgery. The procedure is performed under general anaesthetic but requires no incisions. Professor Edward Leen, Interventional Radiologist at the Princess Grace, explains that they insert two small disposable needles into the skin and track its way to the tumour using ultrasound or CT scans; a strong electric current is then passed through the tumour for two minutes.

The technique will not affect healthy tissue as it is so targeted, meaning that previously untreatable cancers such as those in organ linings or near blood vessels, will be perforated allowing chemotherapy to work more effectively while keeping the healthy tissue intact. If you are interested in having this procedure, please contact us and we will put you in touch with a specialist.

The NanoKnife can be used for tumours in the lungs, kidneys, liver, breast, prostate or pancreas.

A medication that reduces sensation. Full medical glossary
A fluid that transports oxygen and other substances through the body, made up of blood cells suspended in a liquid. Full medical glossary
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
The abbreviation for computed tomography, a scan that generates a series of cross-sectional x-ray images Full medical glossary
The basic unit of genetic material carried on chromosomes. Full medical glossary
Any agent that reduces or abolishes sensation, affecting the whole body. Full medical glossary
One of two bean-shaped organs that are located on either side of the body, below the ribcage. The main role of the kidneys is to filter out waste products from the blood. 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
Describes a tumour resulting from uncontrolled cell division that can invade other tissues and may spread to distant parts of the body. 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
A gland that surrounds the urethra near the bladder. It produces a fluid that forms part of the semen. Full medical glossary
A group of cells with a similar structure and a specialised function. Full medical glossary
An abnormal swelling. Full medical glossary
A diagnostic method in which very high frequency sound waves are passed into the body and the reflective echoes analysed to build a picture of the internal organs – or of the foetus in the uterus. Full medical glossary