Promising New Treatment For Pancreatic Cancer Comes to Orlando Health

Oncologists See Improved Survival Rates

Orlando, Florida (May 31, 2017) – Oncologists at UF Health Cancer Center Orlando Health are deploying NanoKnife® as a new weapon in the battle against pancreatic cancer.           

NanoKnife® gives patients with the most advanced forms of the disease a new treatment option that can significantly improve survival rates. Surgical removal of a tumor gives pancreatic cancer patients the greatest chance of survival but that option is often not possible in locally advanced cases.

Using NanoKnife®, oncologists are able to apply a tissue ablation technique called irreversible electroporation (IRE), where a low-current, high-voltage electrical field surrounds the tumor to punch holes in the cancer cell membrane and cause cell death. The electrical current is delivered through probes positioned around the tumor during an open surgical procedure. It affects only the cancer cells, allowing oncologists to treat the tumor while preserving vascular and ductal tissues that surround the pancreas and other vital organs.

The American Cancer Society estimates that more than 53,000 people were diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in the United States in 2016. The five-year survival rate for stage III pancreatic cancer is about three percent. Stage IV pancreatic cancer has a 5-year survival rate of about one percent.

Cancer specialists including Debashish Bose, M.D., director of the Pancreas Center at UF Health Cancer Center Orlando Health, believe NanoKnife® IRE offers promise for those late-stage patients who often have few options.

“The results are good in patients receiving NanoKnife® IRE treatment at cancer centers across the country. On average, we’re seeing no disease progression 14 months after treatment,” says Dr. Bose. “We expect to see the same results or better with patients we treat here at Orlando Health. For the right patients, NanoKnife® will make a big difference.”

About Orlando Health

Orlando Health is a $2.6 billion not-for-profit health care organization and a community-based network of physician practices, hospitals, and outpatient care centers throughout Central Florida. The organization is home to the area’s only Level One Trauma Centers for adults and pediatrics and is a statutory teaching hospital system that offers both specialty and community hospitals. More than 2,000 physicians have privileges at Orlando Health, which is also one of the area’s largest employers with more than 18,000 employees who serve nearly 2 million Central Florida residents and more than 4,500 international patients annually.  Additionally, Orlando Health provides more than $204 million in support of community health needs.  More information can be found at www.orlandohealth.com.

May 31, 2017