Cell Death Characterization In Tumor Constructs Using Irreversible Electroporation
Prokop, Katherine Jane
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Pancreatic and prostate cancer are both prevalent cancers in the United States with pancreatic being one of the most aggressive of all cancers and prostate cancer being one of the most common, ranking as the number one cancer in men. Treatment of both cancers can be quite challenging as the anatomy of the pancreas and prostate, as well as the development and diagnosis of the disease can greatly limit treatment options. Therefore, it is necessary to develop new cancer treatments to help manage and prevent these cancers. Irreversible electroporation is a new non-thermal focal ablation therapy utilizing short, pulsed electric fields to damage cell membranes leading to cell death. The therapy is minimally invasive, involving the insertion of needle electrodes into the region of interest and lasts less than two minutes. Heat sink effects that thermal therapies experience near large blood vessels do not affect irreversible electroporation. This allows the treatment to be used on tumors near vasculature as well as critical structures without harming these vital regions. While irreversible electroporation is a promising new cancer therapy, further developments are necessary to improve treatment planning models. This work aims to further understand the electric field thresholds necessary to kill different types of cancer cells with a focus on pancreatic and prostate cancer. The work is done using an in vitro tumor (hydrogel) model as this model is better than traditional cell suspension studies, with added benefits over the immediate use of tissue and animal models.
- Masters Theses