King’s offers NanoKnife cancer treatment to NHS patients
17 April 2015 - King’s College Hospital is now offering a new type of treatment for liver and pancreatic tumours
The technology – known as NanoKnife – uses high-voltage electricity to ‘kill’ tumours.
King’s is already a major centre for the treatment of liver cancer and tumours, and NanoKnife is a less invasive treatment option for patients not suitable for traditional surgery.
NanoKnife uses needles which are guided into position around the tumour using ultrasound or CT scans.
Once the needles are in the correct position, a strong electric current is passed between them, killing the cancer cells in the tumour without the need for cuts or incisions.
The procedure is performed under general anaesthetic, and takes approximately 90 minutes. Patients usually require just one night in hospital following the procedure – a much shorter stay than those undergoing traditional surgery.
67-year-old Barbara Theobald from Sevenoaks (pictured) was the first patient at King’s to be treated for a pancreatic tumour using NanoKnife.
“I’d never had any surgery before, so I was very apprehensive about needing a major operation to remove my tumour,” she said. “But the team explained that because it was in a difficult place to operate, I would be suitable for the new NanoKnife treatment.
“I was slightly sceptical but decided to go ahead, and I’m really glad I did. I had no pain after the procedure, and I only needed to stay in hospital for a short time – I was back to normal very quickly afterwards.
“It was definitely the right decision – my recovery time was very short, and my scans all indicate that my cancer has gone. I’m very pleased with the treatment and can’t thank the team at King’s enough.”
Dr Praveen Peddu, Consultant Radiologist at King’s, said the NanoKnife is a new option when traditional surgery isn’t an option: “The technology destroys soft tissue tumours with an electric current, which minimises the risk to other healthy organs nearby.
“This is particularly important when a tumour is in a difficult place and surgery would be more dangerous, such as next to a major blood vessel.”
Professor Nigel Heaton, Professor of Surgery at King’s, added: “Many patients will still require surgery, but it is great that we are able to offer suitable patients this alternative treatment option and hopefully save more lives.”
Information for patients
Regrettably, the Nanoknife procedure is no longer available on the NHS at King’s.
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