IRE Nanoknife: Alfred Radiology Cancer Trial


The IRE-Nanoknife is a precision image guided "surgical resection" system used by radiologists to induce cell death in soft tissue tumours.

It can achieve in a couple of minutes what would take over half an hour with ablation techniques and without the tissue destruction of conventional surgery. 

At the Alfred Radiology department the procedure is being utilized for kidney, liver and lung tumours. Overseas it as been used in prostate and liver tumours.

The procedure involves the insertion of a pair of fine needle electrodes into the tumour under image guidance (CT or ultrasound).

Once the electrodes are in position a pulsating current is delivered over 1-2 minutes. The procedure requires a general anaesthetic but there is very little postoperative pain.

 Advantages of IRE

  •  Small needle electrodes with radiology guidance

  • Very short High voltage pulses create permant pores in cell membranes

  • FAST - typically 45 seconds per treatment

  • NO HEAT or thermal damage

  • Rapid disappearance of targeted cells

  • SPARING of supporting structures (Blood vessels, bile ducts, nerves)

  • No residual cavity or distortion

  • Almost no post-operative pain

 NanoKnife Projected Applications

  • Prostate

  • Liver

  • Kidney

  • Pancreas

  • Lung

  • Brain

  • Uterine Fibroids

  • Endovascular (angioplasty restenosis)

 Alfred Hospital Phase 1 study

  • Three groups of patients with biopsy proven liver kidney and lung cancer 

  • Six patients in each group

  • Primary end-point safety of technique in humans

  • Secondary end-point satisfactory focal treatment of cancer

  • Follow-up by clinical examination and radiologic imaging (CT)

Further Information:
Please contact Ben Morgan, Alfred Radiology Liaison 03 9076 0251 or click here to email