A new treatment which uses electrical pulses to eliminate cancer cells along with tumors that have been deemed inoperable. Henry Ford and Beaumont are the first hospitals in the nation to use this new treatments.
This new treatment “NanoKnife System” does not use a scalpel but instead uses needle type electrode probes to transmit bursts of electrical impulses in and around a tumor, eliminating cancer cells without causing harm to the tissue.
Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, had started using this new treatment that can destroy a two centimeter tumor in about five minutes back in November.
Beaumont Hospital located in Royal Oak, will be using this treatment for the first time today on two patients, according to spokesperson for the hospital Robert Ortlieb. Mr. Ortlieb had revealed to the press that the two patients involved have liver tumors.
Division head of surgery at Henry Ford, Dr. Vic Velanovich, had released in a statement that this offers patients a new alternative for the treatment of cancer in hard to reach areas without harming surrounding anatomy.
Conventional surgery and radiation at times are not effective in treating cancer which has formed near soft tissue areas like blood vessels, nerves and muscles. This could aide those who have no other options.
Beaumont’s spokesperson Mr. Ortlieb has state the hospital is among 20 hospitals nationwide which offer this treatment. This number is up from the original 17 which were noted in mid September by AngioDynamics Inc., located in Lathman, New York, who are the manufactures of the NanoKnife.
Dr. Velanovich states that Henry Ford is also using this new treatment for lung and kidney cancer. Beaumont will be using it in the treatment of liver cancer.
Other hospitals are using the CyberKnife robotic radiosurgery system. It is a different non-invasive technology which uses radiation to battle tumors without harming healthy cells.
There are some physicians and hospitals with concerns about the NanoKnife system, due to the fact there has been no clinical trail to determine if it is effective. The FDA has granted approval for it’s use in 2008, AngioDynamics state that more than 320 patients have received treatments using this system.
NanoKnife expansion choices
Dr. Kellie McFarlin from Henry Ford states even though there is not enough information to show the long term outcome of the NanoKnife, it does provide patients with another alternative. By offering this treatment the hospital can be progressive and be on the leading edge of treatments.
The therapy does not omit anything, it just adds another choice of what patients can do when they have an inoperable tumor. Dr. McFarlin, is a general surgeon and has performed one of the NanoKnife procedures. As of yesterday, the cost is still not known according to spokesperson David Olegarz for Henry Ford Hospital.
The Wall Street Journal is citing a cost of ceiling amount near $300,000 for each machine.
Patient Diane Bates, 63 years at Henry Ford Hospital is one of the patients who has undergone NanoKnife to treat and eliminate cancer cells in pancreatic cancer. Ms. Bates is from Harrison Township.
Ms. Bates, was one of the first patients to use the treatment in November with hopes it will eliminate her pancreatic cancer. Ms. Bates was diagnosed in October 2009.
Along with her family the decision to undergo NanoKnife in early November was made. This decision had come after her physicians had tried to eradicate the cancer but it was deemed inoperable.
Ms. Bates commented she would try anything to rid herself of the cancer. Bates had described the surgery as two electrodes zapping her. She was released two days later and despite some pain, she has no side effects.
Ms. Bates comments her surgeon is confident that they have eliminated all the cancer and she is cancer free. She will require a CT scan in February to observe how her pancreas appears.
Ms. Bates states it is still hard for her to believe, she feels she was just to young to have cancer and wants to see her grandchildren grow up.
As of September 17, 2010 the following health institutions have began using the NanoKnife:
Baptist Health – Little Rock, Ark.
Baylor University Medical Center – Dallas, Texas
Henry Ford Hospital – Detroit, Mich.
LSU Health Sciences Center – Shreveport, La.
Miami Valley Hospital – Dayton, Ohio
Memorial Sloan Kettering cancer Center – New York, N.Y.
Piedmont Healthcare – Atlanta, Ga.
Roper St. Francis Healthcare – Charleston, S.C.
Shands/University of Florida – Gainesville, Fla.
St. Joseph’s Hospital – Atlanta, Ga.
Stony Brook Medical Center – Stony Brook, N.Y.
University of California, Irvine
University of Louisville – Louisville, Ky.
University of Maryland Medical System – Baltimore, Md.
University of Miami
University of Rochester – Rochester, N.Y.
Valley Baptist – Harlingen, Texas
For more information on this new system you can go to AngioDynamics online.