VITUS Privatklinik

NanoKnife – the most advanced treatment for prostate cancer



The most advanced treatment for prostate cancer

IRE (Irreversible Electroporation) is a new therapeutic procedure that also offers new treatment options in prostate cancer therapy – with minimal side effects. Here at Vitus, we use the NanoKnife IRE Ablation System to achieve the best treatment outcomes for our patients.

Current treatments, such as surgery and radiation therapy, result in impotence (loss of erectile function) and incontinence (loss of bladder control) in the majority of men. With Irreversible Electroporation with NanoKnife, these side effects can usually be prevented.

The importance of this paradigm shift in prostate cancer treatment becomes clear when one considers that one in five men will develop prostate cancer in his lifetime. In addition, today not only older but also more and more younger people are affected by the disease. The elderly, in turn, are getting older and staying active longer.

NanoKnife is the first surgical ablation procedure based on Irreversible Electroporation technology. In this procedure, strong electric fields cause the cells to die without exposing the tissue to radiation or heating it. Instead, all tumor cells in the treatment field are reliably destroyed. At the same time, important anatomical structures in and around the prostate, such as nerves, intestinal wall, sphincter and blood vessels, are spared. Erectile function and bladder control are thus not affected in most cases.

NanoKnife technology

Ideal for the treatment of prostate cancer

The NanoKnife process is based on ultra-short pulses of extremely strong electric fields. The pulses are 100 microseconds long – i.e. 0.0001 seconds. Compared to standard procedures, this new technology has unique features that make it ideal for treating the prostate.


Crucial for therapeutic success with NanoKnife

Since 2006, the IRE technique has been approved by the FDA in the USA and CE marking in Europe. This was done because corresponding studies proved that all cells in a defined tissue area could be killed. In order to achieve this and carry out a successful IRE treatment, two factors are crucial:

  • First, the exact position of the tumor must be known before treatment.
  • Secondly, the electric field (treatment field) must be placed in exactly the right position.

The first condition is fulfilled at the Institute of Imaging Diagnostics by a multiparameter MRI examination, a 3D biopsy and, if necessary, other procedures. The institute is located in Offenbach near Frankfurt am Main and has specialized in these procedures for ten years.

The second condition is fulfilled by a minimally invasive procedure under general anesthesia. Sterile needles with variable exposure lengths are inserted. “Exposure length” refers to the area of the needle that exposes the tissue to electrical current. We have more than seven years of experience with this procedure and have performed the most prostate treatments worldwide. This makes us one of the leading experts worldwide, while other clinics are just getting started.