Characterization of Ablation Thresholds for 3D-Cultured Patient-Derived Glioma Stem Cells in Response to High-Frequency Irreversible Electroporation
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High-frequency irreversible electroporation (H-FIRE) is a technique that uses pulsed electric fields that have been shown to ablate malignant cells. In order to evaluate the clinical potential of H-FIRE to treat glioblastoma (GBM), a primary brain tumor, we have studied the effects of high-frequency waveforms on therapy-resistant glioma stem-like cell (GSC) populations. We demonstrate that patient-derived GSCs are more susceptible to H-FIRE damage than primary normal astrocytes. This selectivity presents an opportunity for a degree of malignant cell targeting as bulk tumor cells and tumor stem cells are seen to exhibit similar lethal electric field thresholds, significantly lower than that of healthy astrocytes. However, neural stem cell (NSC) populations also exhibit a similar sensitivity to these pulses. This observation may suggest that different considerations be taken when applying these therapies in younger versus older patients, where the importance of preserving NSC populations may impose different restrictions on use.We also demonstrate variability in threshold among the three patient-derived GSC lines studied, suggesting the need for personalized cell-specific characterization in the development of potential clinical procedures. Future work may provide further useful insights regarding this patient-dependent variability observed that could inform targeted and personalized treatment.