Treatment planning of electroporation-based medical interventions: electrochemotherapy, gene electrotransfer and irreversible electroporation

Anze Zupanic, Bor Kos, Damijan Miklavcic
Physics in Medicine and Biology 2012 September 7, 57 (17): 5425-40
In recent years, cancer electrochemotherapy (ECT), gene electrotransfer for gene therapy and DNA vaccination (GET) and tissue ablation with irreversible electroporation (IRE) have all entered clinical practice. We present a method for a personalized treatment planning procedure for ECT, GET and IRE, based on medical image analysis, numerical modelling of electroporation and optimization with the genetic algorithm, and several visualization tools for treatment plan assessment. Each treatment plan provides the attending physician with optimal positions of electrodes in the body and electric pulse parameters for optimal electroporation of the target tissues. For the studied case of a deep-seated tumour, the optimal treatment plans for ECT and IRE require at least two electrodes to be inserted into the target tissue, thus lowering the necessary voltage for electroporation and limiting damage to the surrounding healthy tissue. In GET, it is necessary to place the electrodes outside the target tissue to prevent damage to target cells intended to express the transfected genes. The presented treatment planning procedure is a valuable tool for clinical and experimental use and evaluation of electroporation-based treatments.

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