Nanoknife surgery: focal prostate cancer treatment

The NanoKnife device is used for irreversible electroporation (IRE) – a new non-thermal ablation option for early-stage prostate cancer. The technique is relatively new, having been available since 2007, and hasn’t yet become a routine urological procedure. However, IRE is increasingly being used in Europe as it meets the requirements for ideal focal therapy.
Using NanoKnife for prostate cancer treatment spares connective tissue in blood vessels and does not cause thermal damage. Performed in specialized clinics, the NanoKnife procedure is as effective as da Vinci prostatectomy.

Can I be a candidate for Nanoknife surgery?

The NanoKnife surgery attracts patients with minimal invasiveness, better tolerability and shorter hospital stay. When doctors use NanoKnife for prostate cancer treatment, side effects are minimal. It is a safe technique that can provide good short-term oncologic outcomes while carrying a lower risk of poor functional outcomes.

Irreversible electroporation with the NanoKnife device may be an appropriate option for men with:

  • Localized prostate cancer that has not spread beyond the prostate gland
  • Low- to intermediate-risk prostate cancer, based on the Gleason score, PSA level, and clinical stage
  • Cancer that is located in the front of the prostate gland
  • Absence of other medical conditions that would make surgery or other treatments too risky

If you meet these criteria, you can discuss with your urologist or healthcare provider the possibility of undergoing NanoKnife surgery instead of conventional surgery.

How Nanoknife surgery works

Despite having the word “surgery” in its name, IRE is about the effect of direct current on healthy tissues. Doctors use short electrical pulses of direct current to open microscopic pores (defects in the cell membrane) in the malignant cells and effectively destroy them.

NanoKnife surgery works by triggering a cascade of events that ultimately leads to malignant cell death. This cascade includes the following steps:

  • Formation of nanoscale pores in the cell membrane. The electrical pulses create nanoscale pores in the cell membrane, allowing ions and other molecules to flow freely and uncontrollably in and out of the cell.
  • Disruption of cellular homeostasis. The uncontrolled movement of ions and other molecules critically disrupts cellular homeostasis, which is essential for cell survival.
  • Activation of apoptosis. Disruption of cellular homeostasis activates apoptosis, which is a programmed process of cell death.
  • Cell death. The cell dies and is eventually degraded by the immune system.

Undergoing Nanoknife surgery abroad

Nanoknife surgery for prostate cancer is a relatively new treatment, so it is not yet widely available. However, there are a number of hospitals around the world that use Nanoknife for prostate cancer treatment and you can freely travel there.

It is important to note that Nanoknife surgery may not be covered by all insurance plans. Therefore, when choosing a hospital, you should consider the cost of Nanoknife treatment for prostate cancer and whether it is right for you. At bookinghealth.com, you can easily find information on current prices and nearest appointments at specialized hospitals worldwide.

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