Irreversible electroporation (IRE) is an innovative local-regional therapy that involves delivery of intense electrical pulses to tissue to induce nanoscale cell membrane defects for tissue ablation. The purpose of this study was to investigate the feasibility of using IRE as a liver-directed ablation technique for the treatment of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). In the N1-S1 rodentmodel, hepatomas were grown in 30 Sprague-Dawley rats that were divided into treatment and control groups. For treatment groups, IRE electrodes were inserted and eight 100-μs 2,500-V pulses were applied to ablate the targeted tumor tissues. For both groups, magnetic resonance imaging scans were performed at baseline and 15-day follow-up intervals to determine tumor sizes (one-dimensional maximum diameter, Dmax; estimated two-dimensional cross-sectional area, Cmax) as a tactic to assess longitudinal outcomes. Additional groups of treated animals were sacrificed at 1-, 3-, and 7-day intervals posttherapy for pathology assessment of treatment response. Magnetic resonance images showed significant tumor size reductions within 15 days posttherapy (32 ± 31% Dmax and 52 ± 39% C max decreases compared with 110 ± 35% Dmax and 286 ± 125% Cmax increases for untreated tumors). Pathology correlation studies documented progression from poorly differentiated viable HCC tissues before treatment to extensive tumor necrosis and full regression in 9 of 10 treated rats 7 to 15 days after treatment. Our findings suggest that IRE can be an effective strategy for targeted ablation of liver tumors, prompting its further evaluation for HCC therapy.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research