PROVIDENCE, RI On Thursday, January 8, Rhode Island Hospital treated an inoperable kidney tumor using a new technology known as NanoKnife. Damian Dupuy, MD, director of ablation services at Rhode Island Hospital and a national pioneer in ablation treatment, performed the procedure -- the first time it has been used on a kidney tumor in the United States.
NanoKnife is an image-guided device that uses "irreversible electroporation (IRE) technology" -- pulses of electricity that selectively destroy tumor cells while sparing nearby nerves, blood vessels and other delicate structures within the body. While considered a form of ablation, it uses electricity rather than heat like other ablation techniques such as cryo-ablation, radiofrequency and microwave ablation.
The Food and Drug Administration has approved the device for general soft tissue ablation. It was first used in Australia for tumors in the lungs and lymph nodes, and has been used in a handful of other types of cases in the United States.
Dupuy, who is serving as an advisor on the IRE technology, used the new NanoKnife on a 70-year-old female with a kidney tumor. The patient is reported to be doing well. Dupuy says, "I'm excited about the continued advances in ablation technology that broaden the applications for patients with cancer. These new technologies are revolutionizing the way we are able to treat cancer, allowing us to minimize collateral damage to surrounding tissue while maximizing tumor kill."
The NanoKnife is performed under sedation, however, little to no post-operative pain has been associated with the treatment to date. Because it is minimally invasive, Dupuy also notes that the new technology offers additional treatment options to patients who have no other alternatives or who have not responded to other forms of cancer treatment.
Prior forms of ablation treatment have been very successful in treating tumors in the past, and continue to pr
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