BAPTIST HEALTH Debuts NanoKnife Treatment for Lung Cancer

LITTLE ROCK, AR--(Marketwire - January 5, 2010) - Interventional radiologists at BAPTIST HEALTH Medical Center - Little Rock recently became the first physicians in the U.S. to use a new image-guided interventional NanoKnife technique to treat a malignant nodule within the lung.

The procedure, called Irreversible Electroporation, or IRE, uses an electric current instead of heat or freezing to permanently open cell membrane pores in the tumor. Once the cell membrane pores are opened, the tumor cells begin to die.

A minimally-invasive system called a NanoKnife delivers electricity to the target cells. The interventional radiologist will use imaging guidance ultrasound or computed tomography (CT) imaging to insert probes into the tumor area. When the NanoKnife probes are in place, the physician then delivers high-voltage electrical pulses through the tumor. The tumor cells receiving the electrical pulses will open their microscopic pores permanently, which ultimately causes the cells to die, dissolve and be removed by the body's natural processes.

"IRE is a remarkable new minimally-invasive cancer treatment that kills tumors in a completely new way," said David Hays, MD, Section Chief, Interventional Radiology Department at BAPTIST HEALTH. "The tumor cells are killed but the surrounding framework of the organ is left intact. IRE expands our options for Interventional Oncology treatments and further enables our collaboration with medical professionals to provide the best possible treatment for our patients with cancer."

David Hays, MD, who performed the new treatment for lung cancer at BAPTIST HEALTH, said, "Electroporation had been used before to temporarily open tumor cells, allowing chemotherapy to enter individual cells and kill them from the inside, but the IRE method does not require any chemotherapy. Using the NanoKnife during an IRE procedure allows us to be more precise and much faster and causes less damage to normal surrounding structures."

The NanoKnife was recently approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for surgical ablation of soft tissue and is manufactured by AngioDynamics.

BAPTIST HEALTH is the state's most comprehensive healthcare system. With more than 175 access points -- including major medical centers, family clinics, and therapy and wellness centers -- BAPTIST HEALTH is committed to delivering "All Our Best" in healthcare to the people of Arkansas. For more information about the NanoKnife IRE System, call BAPTIST HEALTH HealthLine at B-A-P-T-I-S-T (227-8478), toll-free 1-888-B-A-P-T-I-S-T, or visit our website at

Contact Information: CONTACT: CARA WADE 501-202-2500