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Nanoknife Treatment

Nanoknife, also referred to as irreversible electroporation, is a technique often used in the treatment of prostate cancer. Used for hard-to-reach tumours, nanoknife is minimally invasive and is often used in the treatment of tumours that would otherwise have been deemed unreachable and inoperable.

In irreversible electroporation, quick electrical pulses are administered, with the use of electrodes, around and into the tumour to kill cancerous cells. The name “nanoknife” is derived from the fact that these electrical pulses effectively cut open the cells’ membrane.

Prostate cancer can be targeted with ultra-precision, posing fewer risks to surrounding organs and healthy tissue. Guided by MRI scanning, the short electrical pulses can be administered to exactly the right area. Read more on the principles of nanoknife treatment in our news section.

How does nanoknife treatment work?

The cutting of the cell’s membrane is what induces the process of apoptosis, the death of cells. Nanoknife treatment is cutting-edge as the pulses used are only short and therefore do not generate any heat. This leaves surrounding healthy cells untouched and preserved. The healthy cells will continue to grow without any issues and will replace the dead cells resulting from nanoknife procedures.

Nanoknife Therapy for Prostate Cancer

Nanoknife is especially useful in the treatment of prostate cancer as it can help maintain the prostate’s important functions, whilst attacking the cancerous cells.

Because the procedure is not invasive, recovery time is generally short and limited to a couple of days. Patients can expect to experience minimal to no side effects at all. Read more about prostate cancer and potential treatment options.

Advantages of Nanoknife Treatment for Prostate Cancer:

  • Minimally invasive procedure requiring a short hospital stay
  • Short recuperation period (usually a couple of days)
  • Painless procedure with minimal to no side effects
  • Able to treat tumours previously difficult to treat with minimally invasive procedures or in salvage cases
  • The procedure can be repeated

Disadvantages of Nanoknife Treatment for Prostate Cancer:

  • Catheter required for a few days
  • Some men may be infertile due to decreased/absent ejaculatory fluid
  • No long-term data available on side-effects and outcomes

Am I Eligible for Nanoknife Therapy?

Men suitable for Nanoknife treatment are carefully selected following MRI and prostate mapping biopsies under the care of Professor Mark Emberton at LUA. He will discuss the suitability of this type of treatment for the prostate cancer diagnosed. It is not suitable for all types of prostate cancer and men who are given the option will be made aware that no long-term data is available.

For more information on nanoknife treatment for prostate cancer, call our office on 020 7224 5089 or send us an email at info@lua.co.uk. Alternatively, view the LUA patient information page for additional information on how to make an appointment.

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