alexa Nanosecond Pulsed Electric Field (nsPEF) Ablation as an
ISSN: 2161-1076

Surgery: Current Research
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Nanosecond Pulsed Electric Field (nsPEF) Ablation as an Alternative or Adjunct to Surgery for Treatment of Cancer

Ru Chen1,2, Xinhua Chen1,3 and Stephen J Beebe1*
1Frank Reidy Research Center for Bioelectrics, Old Dominion University, VA 23508 USA
2Ethicon Endo Surgery, Cincinnati Ohio, USA
3Department of Hepatobiliary and Pancreatic Surgery, Department of Surgery, Zhejiang University School of Medicine, China
Corresponding Author : Stephen J Beebe
Frank Reidy Research Center for Bioelectrics
Old Dominion University, VA 23508, USA
Tel: 757-683-2405
Fax: 757-451-1010
E-mail: [email protected]
Received March 07, 2013; Accepted March 30, 2013; Published April 10, 2013
Citation: Chen R, Chen X, Beebe SJ (2013) Nanosecond Pulsed Electric Field (nsPEF) Ablation as an Alternative or Adjunct to Surgery for Treatment of Cancer. Surgery Curr Res S12:005. doi:10.4172/2161-1076.S12-005
Copyright: © 2013 Chen R, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


Surgery as resection or transplantation remains a fundamental means for cancer treatment and often offers an opportunity for a cure. However, surgery is not always possible because of tumor proximity to blood vessels or ducts or when a patient is not healthy enough to undergo surgery. Application of nanosecond pulsed electric fields (nsPEFs) is a new approach to treat cancer using pulse power technology that was originally designed for military purposes. This novel approach deposits extremely short pulses of high power, low energy electric fields into malignant tissues using electrodes to encompass tumors. Pre-clinical studies show that treatments are effective and without local or systemic side effects, including absences of scarring. Pre-clinical trials for basal cell carcinoma are completed, but results have not been published. For treating internal tumors, electric fields can be delivered by catheter electrodes and laparoscopy procedures. Here we present a review of the literature using nsPEFs for cancer ablation and present some recent work from the author’s laboratory. We demonstrate efficacy for treatment of an ectopic mouse (Hepa-1- 6) and an orthotopic rat (N1-S1) Hepatocellular Carcinoma (HCC). NsPEFs eliminate tumors by mechanisms in the presence of active caspases (apoptosis) as well as in absences of active caspases (necrosis/necroptosis). Treatment also breaches small vessels, but spares larger vessels and ducts. NsPEF treatments also reduce angiogenesis as determined by decreases in Vascular Endothelia Growth Factor (VEGF). Microvascular density markers (CD-31, CD-34 and CD-105) are significantly decreased after treatment, limiting new blood vessel formation and reinforcing tumor cell demise. Furthermore, initial challenge studies show that mice are resistant to re-introduction of the same tumor cells after treatment, suggesting that nsPEFs induces immunogenic cell death and possible host cell immune responses after treatment. NsPEF ablation of cancer targets at least three hallmarks of cancer (evasion of apoptosis, angiogenesis maintenance and immune surveillance) and provides an effective alternative or adjunct therapy for cancers in skin and internal organs.

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