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Irreversible electroporation: state of the art

Authors Wagstaff P, Buijs M, van den Bos W, de Bruin D, Zondervan P, de la Rosette J, Laguna P

Received 4 November 2015

Accepted for publication 13 February 2016

Published 22 April 2016 Volume 2016:9 Pages 2437—2446

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/OTT.S88086

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Ram Prasad

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Faris Farassati


Peter GK Wagstaff,1 Mara Buijs,1 Willemien van den Bos,1 Daniel M de Bruin,2 Patricia J Zondervan,1 Jean JMCH de la Rosette,1 M Pilar Laguna Pes1

1Department of Urology, 2Department of Biomedical Engineering and Physics, Academic Medical Center, Amsterdam, the Netherlands

Abstract: The field of focal ablative therapy for the treatment of cancer is characterized by abundance of thermal ablative techniques that provide a minimally invasive treatment option in selected tumors. However, the unselective destruction inflicted by thermal ablation modalities can result in damage to vital structures in the vicinity of the tumor. Furthermore, the efficacy of thermal ablation intensity can be impaired due to thermal sink caused by large blood vessels in the proximity of the tumor. Irreversible electroporation (IRE) is a novel ablation modality based on the principle of electroporation or electropermeabilization, in which electric pulses are used to create nanoscale defects in the cell membrane. In theory, IRE has the potential of overcoming the aforementioned limitations of thermal ablation techniques. This review provides a description of the principle of IRE, combined with an overview of in vivo research performed to date in the liver, pancreas, kidney, and prostate.

Keywords: irreversible electroporation, IRE, tumor, ablation, focal therapy, cancer

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