New "Nanoknife" gives surgeons less invasive option to remove tumors

(NBC) - January 13th a Nanoknife is used at UM's Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center.

It's new technology designed to destroy tumors without surgery.

"The way we do it is with imaging guidance and we use very thin needles or electrodes, probes as we call them. We place them in the vicinity of the tumor. Usually around it and its connected to a generator," Govindarajan Narayanan, an Interventional Radiologist, said.

Delivering high voltage electrical current through the probes.

"And what the current does is it makes multiple nano sized holes in the tumor in the cell membrane thereby killing the tumor cells," Dr. Narayanan said.

The patient in this case is 67 year old Maria Gomez. They're treating a tumor in her liver.

"They had recommended early on that I have a liver transplant, and I didn't really want a liver transplant now. So secondly they recommended this," she said.

5 weeks after her procedure Maria has a cat scan to see if the Nanoknife has a made a difference.

Dr. Raj Narayanan pointed to the tumor before treatment, which shows up lighter than other tissue. Now a dark area is where the tumor has disappeared.

And he shows Maria the results.

"And I don't see any active tumor there," Dr. Narayanan said.

First there's disbelief:"But the lesion is gone," Maria said.

"The lesion, I don't see any," Dr. Narayanan said.

"Its beyond elation. Just feeling very grateful to God, and Dr. Narayanan and his team just for being so lucky that I can be helped," Maria said.

So far only a handful of patients have been treated with the Nanoknife at UM's Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center. All have had liver tumors.

In the future doctors at UM Sylvester will expand its use to include kidney and lung tumors as well.

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