Now accepting Telehealth appointments. Schedule a virtual visit.

Nanoknife Procedure Specialist

Atlas Oncology

Robert B. Donoway, M.D., FACS

Nanoknife Surgeon located in Hollywood, FL

Nanoknife Procedure


Patients with advanced pancreatic, liver, and soft tissue cancers often have limited treatment options and little, if any, hope — until now. Robert Donoway, MD, FACS, at Atlas Oncology is one of only a few experts offering NanoKnife® IRE, a minimally invasive treatment that effectively eliminates inoperable cancer tumors without harming surrounding tissues. If you have questions about this cutting-edge treatment, call the office in Hollywood, Florida, or use the online booking feature to schedule a consultation.

NanoKnife Q & A

What is NanoKnife?

NanoKnife is a medical device produced by Angiodynamics that’s specially designed for ablating soft tissues. Ablation is often used in medical procedures to kill cells or tissues. However, it’s usually done using freezing temperatures or the heat of a laser.  

If you have a cancerous tumor located near organs or critical structures, such as blood vessels, nerves, and ducts, or if your tumor is in a location that’s hard to reach, then hot or cold ablation can’t be used because the surrounding healthy tissues could be seriously damaged.

NanoKnife solves the problem using a technique called irreversible electroporation (IRE). IRE produces an electrical field around the tumor, which creates permanent defects (pores) in the protective membrane surrounding the tumor. These openings in the membrane make the cancer cells die without harming any of the surrounding tissues.

What happens during a NanoKnife IRE procedure?

Prior to your procedure, CT scans are performed to map the precise location and size of the tumor. When it’s time for your procedure, you receive general anesthesia, then Dr. Donoway places two or more NanoKnife electrodes around the tumor.

The electrodes are long, thin, and have a needle point on the end, so they’re easy to insert. Throughout the procedure, Dr. Donoway uses real-time imaging that allows him to see the electrodes and place them in the precise locations needed to produce the electric field.


Once the electrodes are in place, Dr. Donoway activates short, intense bursts of electrical current. This creates an electric field that ablates the tumor. The electrical impulses are contained between the electrodes, which is how the tumor is destroyed without harming the surrounding structures.

What conditions are treated with the NanoKnife IRE?

Dr. Donoway currently performs NanoKnife IRE for these cancers:

  • Liver
  • Pancreas
  • Sarcoma
  • Melanoma
  • Colorectal
  • Stomach
  • GI stromal tumors
  • Advanced breast cancer
  • Extremity sarcoma
  • Retroperitoneal tumors
  • Advanced pelvic tumors
  • Chest wall malignancies
  • Soft tissue tumors

You may be a good candidate for NanoKnife IRE if chemotherapy has stopped working or when your cancer can’t be surgically removed.

What are the benefits of NanoKnife IRE?

Beyond the benefits already mentioned — your cancer is destroyed, healthy tissues remain unharmed, and it’s a minimally invasive procedure — additional benefits of NanoKnife IRE include:

  • No surgical incision
  • Less postoperative pain
  • Fewer side effects
  • Shorter hospital stay
  • Quicker recovery
  • Less painful than other cancer treatment options
  • Tumor destruction is monitored during the procedure
  • Minimal internal scarring so you can have a repeat procedure if needed

As the cancerous tissues die, healthy cells can grow to replace the dead tissue.

Of course, the most important benefit is that your previously untreatable cancer is removed without cytotoxic drugs.

To learn whether you’re a good candidate for NanoKnife IRE, call Atlas Oncology or book a consultation online.