A Patient-specific Irreversible Electroporation Treatment Planning Model Based on Human Tissue Properties

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Virginia Tech

Irreversible electroporation (IRE) is a focal ablation technique that has been shown in recent clinical trials to be effective in treating pancreatic cancer. The technique uses short, high voltage pulses to induce nanoscale pores in the target cell membranes, leading to cell death. Due to its non-thermal mechanism, IRE is particularly well suited for treating a tumor that is unresectable due to its close location to crucial structures such as blood vessels and nerves. Predicting the region of treatment is critical for optimal treatment of the tumor. The only predictive tools clinicians currently rely on for IRE treatment planning are computer tomography (CT), ultrasound (US) imaging, and real-time resistance measurement is used to monitor treatment progress. However, there is currently no method to plan optimal pulse parameters such as voltage, pulse duration, pulse number, and electrode spacing prior to treatment. Computational treatment planning models aim to perform this prediction in 3D, however, the electric field region relies on the electrical response of human tissue during IRE. This work quantifies this response for the first time and implements human tissue properties in a patient-specific, 3D treatment planning model.

Irreversible electroporation, cancer treatment, tissue properties