Pulsed Electric Fields in Oncology: A Snapshot of Current Clinical Practices and Research Directions from the 4th World Congress of Electroporation

Abstract

The 4th World Congress of Electroporation (Copenhagen, 9–13 October 2022) provided a unique opportunity to convene leading experts in pulsed electric fields (PEF). PEF-based therapies harness electric fields to produce therapeutically useful effects on cancers and represent a valuable option for a variety of patients. As such, irreversible electroporation (IRE), gene electrotransfer (GET), electrochemotherapy (ECT), calcium electroporation (Ca-EP), and tumour-treating fields (TTF) are on the rise. Still, their full therapeutic potential remains underappreciated, and the field faces fragmentation, as shown by parallel maturation and differences in the stages of development and regulatory approval worldwide. This narrative review provides a glimpse of PEF-based techniques, including key mechanisms, clinical indications, and advances in therapy; finally, it offers insights into current research directions. By highlighting a common ground, the authors aim to break silos, strengthen cross-functional collaboration, and pave the way to novel possibilities for intervention. Intriguingly, beyond their peculiar mechanism of action, PEF-based therapies share technical interconnections and multifaceted biological effects (e.g., vascular, immunological) worth exploiting in combinatorial strategies.

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Citation
Campana, L.G.; Daud, A.; Lancellotti, F.; Arroyo, J.P.; Davalos, R.V.; Di Prata, C.; Gehl, J. Pulsed Electric Fields in Oncology: A Snapshot of Current Clinical Practices and Research Directions from the 4th World Congress of Electroporation. Cancers 2023, 15, 3340.