Author(s): Chen X, Zhuang J, Kolb JF, Schoenbach KH, Beebe SJ
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Abstract Novel therapies are needed for treating hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) without recurrence in a single procedure. In this work we evaluated anti-neoplastic effects of a pulse power ablation (PPA) with nanosecond pulsed electric fields (nsPEFs), a non-thermal, non-drug, local, regional method and investigated its molecular mechanisms for hepatocellular carcinoma tumor ablation in vivo. An ectopic tumor model was established using C57BL/6 mice with Hepa1-6 hepatocellular carcinoma cells. Pulses with durations of 30 or 100 ns and fast rise times were delivered by a needle or ring electrode with different electric field strengths (33, 50 and 68 kV/cm), and 900 pulses in three treatment sessions (300 pulses each session) or a single 900 pulse treatment. Treated and control tumor volumes were monitored by ultrasound and apoptosis and angiogenesis markers were evaluated by immunohistochemistry. Seventy five percent of primary hepatocellular carcinoma tumors were eradicated with 900 hundred pulses at 100 ns pulses at 68 kV/cm in a single treatment or in three treatment sessions without recurrence within 9 months. Using quantitative analysis, tumors in treated animals showed nsPEF-mediated nuclear condensation (3 h post-pulse), cell shrinkage (1 h), increases in active executioner caspases (caspase-3 > -7 > -6) and terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase dUTP nick-end-labeling (1 h) with decreases in vascular endothelial growth factor expression (7d) and micro-vessel density (14d). NsPEF ablation eliminated hepatocellular carcinoma tumors by targeting two therapeutic sites, apoptosis induction and inhibition of angiogenesis, both important cancer hallmarks. These data indicate that PPA with nsPEFs is not limited to treating skin cancers and provide a rationale for continuing to investigate pulse power ablation for hepatocellular carcinoma using other models in pre-clinical applications and ultimately in clinical trials. Based on present treatments for specific HCC stages, it is anticipated that nsPEFs could be substituted for or used in combination with ablation therapies using heat, cold or chemicals.
This article was published in Technol Cancer Res Treat
and referenced in Journal of Nanomedicine & Biotherapeutic Discovery