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How to use Nanoknife treatment for prostate cancer

How to use Nanoknife treatment for prostate cancer
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Using Nanoknife Technology to Treat Prostate Cancer

What is prostate cancer?

Prostate cancer is a sort of most cancers that develops within the prostate gland, that’s located within the male reproductive device simply beneath the bladder. The prostate is a small walnut-sized gland that produces fluid that makes up a part of semen. Prostate most cancers happens whilst the cells of the prostate gland begin to grow uncontrollably and form tumors.

Prostate cancer usually grows very slowly and first of all stays restrained to the prostate gland, where it can not reason serious damage. However, there’s a hazard that the most cancers can unfold from the prostate to other parts of the body, which includes the bones or different organs, thru the lymph nodes or blood ve. This can happen many years after the cancer first develops.

This blog post discusses the use of nanoknife technology to treat prostate cancer in a simple and easy to understand way. It aims to describe what prostate cancer is, how nanoknife treatment works, potential benefits and risks, and provide conclusions in less than 160 characters.

How is prostate cancer diagnosed?

There are some one-of-a-kind exams which could help medical doctors diagnose prostate most cancers:

  • Digital Rectal Exam (DRE) – During this examination, the medical doctor inserts a lubed, gloved finger into the rectum to feel the dimensions, form, and texture of the prostate gland. Abnormalities may indicate cancer.
  • Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA) Test – A blood check that measures the level of PSA, a protein made with the aid of the prostate. Higher-than-ordinary PSA stages may be a sign of most cancers, however no longer continually.
  • Biopsy – If the DRE or PSA test results are abnormal, the doctor may recommend a biopsy. A biopsy involves removing small samples of prostate tissue for examination under a microscope to check for cancer cells.

The DRE and PSA test combined are helpful screening tools, but neither is definitive. Only a biopsy can confirm or rule out a prostate cancer diagnosis. Early detection through screening is important, as treatment is most effective if the cancer is still confined to the prostate gland.

Understanding Nanoknife Treatment

One type of treatment for prostate cancer is called Nanoknife. Nanoknife uses an procedure called irreversible electroporation (IRE) guided by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to precisely target and destroy prostate tumor cells. Here’s a closer look at how it works:

  • Nanoknife uses very short, intense pulses of electrical energy to create nano-sized pores in cell membranes. This disrupt the cellular structure and causes cell death, while leaving surrounding tissue structures largely intact.
  • MRI imaging is used to precisely locate and guide the placement of small needles into the prostate tumor. The needles are spaced 1/2 cm apart in a triangular pattern to cover the entire tumor area.
  • Pulses of electrical energy are then delivered through the needles to the targeted cancer cells. The pulses last less than 100 microseconds but disrupt the cell membranes and cause cell death through apoptosis (programmed cell death).
  • Because it only affects cell membranes, surrounding non-cancerous tissue like nerves and blood vessels remain mostly undamaged. This allows Nanoknife to destroy tumors while helping preserve urinary and sexual function.
  • After remedy, the body’s immune gadget clears away the dead most cancers cells over the next few weeks with minimum pain or facet consequences for the patient. No chemotherapy or radiation is required.

So in summary, Nanoknife uses targeted electrical pulses guided by MRI to destroy prostate cancer tumors while helping spare surrounding healthy tissue and functions. This makes it a promising focal treatment option.

Potential Benefits of Nanoknife Treatment

Some potential advantages and benefits of using Nanoknife to treat prostate cancer include:

  • Focal Treatment – Nanoknife allows focal destruction of the visible tumor while sparing surrounding healthy prostate tissue and structures like nerves. This helps preserve urinary and sexual functions.
  • Minimally Invasive – Only small needles are inserted into the prostate gland compared to more invasive surgeries. There are no surgical cuts made and patients typically go home the same day.
  • Targeted Approach – MRI guidance allows Nanoknife to be precisely targeted to just the visible tumor margins rather than treating the entire prostate gland. This reduces post-treatment side effects.
  • Quick Recovery – Patients usually return to normal activities within a few days with minimal pain. There is no need for intravenous anesthesia, long hospital stays, or indwelling catheters like with surgery.
  • Optional Addition – Nanoknife can sometimes be an addition to other treatments to target remaining visible tumors after radiation or as a salvage option after failed radiation.
  • High Success Rates – Research studies have shown Nanoknife’s success rates for destroying visible tumors are on par with whole-gland treatments like surgery or radiation. Very low risk of treatment failure or recurrence.

So in summary, the focal nature and minimally invasive aspects of Nanoknife offer advantages over more invasive whole-gland options in terms of preserving functions and quality of life while still effectively treating the cancer.

Risks and Limitations of Nanoknife

Of course, no medical treatment is perfect and Nanoknife does have some risks and limitations to consider:

  • Inability to Treat Microscopic Disease – Like any focal therapy, Nanoknife can only target and treat visible tumors seen on MRI. It does not treat any microscopic cancer cells outside the treated area that may remain or later regrow.
  • Residual Disease – There is always a chance that some cancer cells could be left behind in the treated area after Nanoknife. Patients require follow-up testing like biopsies and PSA checks to monitor for cancer recurrence.
  • New Tumors Possible – As with any focal therapy, there is still a risk that new, independent tumors could form elsewhere in the prostate gland or spread to other organs over time.
  • Infection Risk – As with any procedure inserting needles into the body, there is a small risk of infection, particularly if the patient has other health issues affecting immunity or healing.
  • Injury to Surrounding Tissue – While rare, it is possible nearby non-cancerous tissues like the rectum or bladder could experience some damage or burns from the electrical pulses in complex cases.

So in summary, Nanoknife provides local control of visible tumors but has limitations in treating any remaining microscopic cancer throughout the prostate. Careful patient selection and follow up is important to monitor effectiveness and watch for possible recurrence over time.


In conclusion, Nanoknife is a promising focal treatment option for prostate cancer that offers benefits of minimally invasive targeted destruction of visible tumors along with potential advantages in quality of life and organ function preservation compared to whole-gland surgery or radiation alternatives.

While long term data is still being collected, initial studies show Nanoknife can achieve high success rates similar to more invasive options but with a much faster recovery time and less side effects for appropriately selected patients.

Of course, it’s important that men understand Nanoknife treats only the currently visible cancer and does not eliminate all risk of recurrence from any remaining microscopic disease or new tumors over time. Ongoing monitoring with PSA and biopsy testing after treatment is still necessary.

Overall, Nanoknife appears to provide an effective treatment option for localized prostate cancer in the right patients. With its targeted focal approach, it holds promise as a quality of life preserving alternative or addition to other therapies. As the technology continues to refine and long term data grows, Nanoknife may become a more widely used treatment choice.

Some additional details about nanoknife

How is this Procedure done?

  • The patient is given anesthesia (usually general anesthesia) so they are asleep during the procedure.
  • Under MRI guidance, very thin needles (usually around 18 needles) are precisely inserted into the prostate tumor(s) through the skin in the perineum (area between scrotum and anus).
  • Short pulses of high-frequency electric current are applied through the needles to cause irreversible electroporation within the targeted tumor cells.
  • The entire procedure often takes 1-2 hours depending on the number and size of tumors being treated.


  • Studies show nanoknife is very effective at immediately destroying targeted prostate tumor tissue with very low recurrence rates.
  • A 5-year study found 94% of patients had no evidence of cancer regrowth in the treated area.
  • But as with any focal therapy, it cannot treat microscopic disease outside the treatment zone. Systemic failure is still possible.

Side effects?

  • Most common side effects are temporary and mild, like bruising, soreness, pain/burning with urination.
  • Risk of side effects like erectile dysfunction and incontinence are lower than radical prostatectomy.
  • Rare risks include infection, risks from anesthesia, and potential damage to nearby organs like rectum from needle placement.

Follow up?

  • Patients generally recover quickly but need frequent follow up PSA tests and biopsies to monitor for recurrence.
  • If cancer regrowth is detected, other treatments like radiation may still be options for salvage therapy.

So in summary, nanoknife provides a minimally invasive focal treatment with good effectiveness against targeted tumors when performed properly. Ongoing monitoring remains important long-term.

Some More details

Patient selection:

  • Nanoknife is best suited for early stage prostate cancer that is still confined to the prostate gland (T1-T2 stages).
  • It works best on tumors that are clearly visible on MRI and haven’t spread very close to the prostatic capsule or nearby organs.
  • Men with large tumor volumes (>50% of a prostate lobe or over 3-4 tumors) may not be ideal candidates.

Procedure specifics:

  • MRIs taken before the procedure help the doctor map out tumor locations and size.
  • Needles are typically placed under MRI guidance in triangular configurations with 0.5-1cm spacing between needles.
  • Electric pulses are administered in milliseconds-long bursts with voltage ranging from 1500-3000V and frequencies of 1-3 kHz.
  • Doctors monitor tissue impedance and temperature to avoid overheating healthy tissues.


  • Patients can resume normal activities within a few days but should avoid strenuous exercise for 2 weeks.
  • Temporary side effects like pain/burning with urination usually subside within 1-2 weeks.
  • Long term risks of ED and incontinence are lower than surgery but sexual function is still impacted in some men.

Additional benefits may include:

  • Potential use in combination with other therapies like seeds or cryotherapy for larger tumors
  • Ability to retreat recurrent tumors in the future if needed
  • Option for focal boost after external beam radiation

So in summary, attentive patient selection and technique are important for achieving good outcomes with nanoknife.

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Originally posted 2023-11-29 19:52:07.

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