Short electrical pulses destroy cancer cells effectively

(Heidelberg, 28.02.2014) The Clinic for Prostate Therapy in Heidelberg (Heidelberger Klinik für Prostata-Therapie) is the only clinic in Germany where the urologists use the irreversible electroporation (IRE) procedure as a standard therapy for prostate cancer.

The NanoKnife IRE procedure is very gentle and minimally invasive and therefore an alternative to a radical prostatectomy (complete surgical removal of the prostate). The method uses short electrical pulses to effectively destroy cancer cells - a physical effect that has been known for decades. The impulses which have differing strengths and last for only a few microseconds, open pores in the cells in the treatment area and this causes the cells to die. This is also where the term "NanoKnife" originates from - a kind of "electronic scalpel" that opens the cell membrane.Depending on the size of the tumour, between two and six needles are required. Larger tumours can also be treated. When the needles are positioned around the tumour, high-voltage impulses of 70 microseconds (µs) in length are emitted, which are repeated every 100 to 1,000 milliseconds (ms). They create short currents of around 50 amperes.What is special about this method of treatment is that the pulses are extremely short and it does not generate heat. This means that the cell matrix of the healthy tissue in the area of treatment remains preserved and is able to regenerate itself: the healthy tissue grows again without any problem and the healthy areas of the prostate such as blood vessels and other ducts are preserved to the greatest possible extent. The dead cancer cells are replaced by healthy cells as part of the body's natural growth process.Another alternative method is the HIFU treatment concept. High intensity focused ultrasound waves produce heated areas which destroy the tumour cells in a targeted manner. However, tumours cannot always be treated using this method. For instance, if the prostate is too large or partially calcified. Or if the carcinoma is located outside the range of the ultrasonic waves due to its position or anatomical variations in the prostate. Here, the IRE procedure provides a possible treatment option.Copy free of charge. Please send a proof copy.

Clinic contact data:

Klinik für Prostata-Therapie GmbH im :medZ
Bergheimer Straße 56a
D-69115 Heidelberg, Germany

Phone +496221 / 65085-0
Fax +496221 / 65085-11

E-mail: info(at)


Contact for media relations:

Hauptstrasse 31
D-69251 Gaiberg, Germany

Phone +496223 / 46614