December 23, 2008 — The Alfred in Melbourne, Australia, used AngioDynamics’s NanoKnife system, which leverages irreversible electroporation (IRE) technology, on a lymph node metastasis and the first lung lesion case.
Ken Thomson, M.D., professor and director of the Department of Radiology at The Alfred, Monash University, performed the procedures, which the institution deemed successful from a safety perspective. The hospital will conduct further patient follow-up before determining final outcomes in terms of tumor response.
NanoKnife causes cell death by impacting the cell membranes of targeted tissue with pulses of electricity, effectively sparing nearby nerves, blood vessels, lymphatic system and other delicate structures. Targeted cells are removed from the body through blood vessels and lymphatic systems. This is different from thermal ablation modalities like cryoablation, microwave and radiofrequency ablation. These other modalities destroy all cells including critical structures in targeted tissue, leaving destroyed material in place for years. The body can only remove it slowly by attacking from the outside, as all normal pathways to remove damaged tissue have been destroyed.
“For the patient, the absence of post-operative pain is unique and remarkable,” said Dr. Thomson. “We have also treated tumors in the liver and kidney with NanoKnife, with similar experiences – no postoperative pain at all – and the procedures have raised no safety concerns. This is probably due to the fact that the supporting structure of the tissue treated is not destroyed and vascular and nerve function is unaffected.”
Regarding a previously announced liver case from The Alfred, sequential triple phase liver CT scans and ultrasound at two weeks and four weeks post-procedure have shown that a 2-cm tumor has disappeared on imaging. At the site of a 3.5-cm tumor near the diaphragm in the same patient there is only a minor nonenhancing scar. Dr Thomson noted these outcomes contrast very favorably with the cavities left following thermal ablation procedures.
AngioDynamics intends to file investigational device exemptions (IDE) with the FDA to pursue additional and more specific tissue indications. The device has been cleared for a general soft tissue ablation indication by the Food and Drug Administration.
For more information: www.angiodynamics.com