With this new system, solid tumors can be destroyed faster and less invasively than current chemical treatment or with radiotherapy.
One of the most negative effects of traditional treatments for cancer, such as radiation or chemotherapy, is it side effects like hair loss, nausea and vomiting, lack of appetite, constant tiredness, dryness of the mouth, among others. And all this it’s because they are highly invasive treatments.
Researchers from University of Zaragoza and University Pompeu Fabra of Spain, after investigating a long time an alternative method, of equal efficiency, but less invasive than the traditional, they have developed and patented a generator of pulses of high tension to destroy solid tumors, through the phenomenon known as “irreversible electroporation”
What it’s this novel method and what differentiates it from the traditional ones? It causes the cells death as they’re unable to repair the damage caused by elevated electric fields in their cell wall.
One of the benefits of irreversible electroporation for the patiens it’s that the mechanism of action it’s not based on thermal alterations, which improves recovery and allows it to be possible to treat tumors that, due to their location, wouldn’t be treatable, and in a faster way, less toxic and less invasive, being neither thermal and nor using drugs.
Oscar Lucía, Power Electronic and Microelectronic Group researcher, explained that, compared to chemo, this system is “more localized and less harmful, because it doesn’t involve thermal heating in contradistinction to radiotherapy or radiofrequency” and therefore, recovery is faster and with less sequelae.
At the moment, the generator, which can apply voltages up to 12 kilovolts peak-to-peak and currents up to 400 amperes, has been successfully tested in vivo studies and has demonstrated the ability to destroy large volumes of tissue. But the patent has aroused the interest of several companies, which will allow progress in irreversible electroporation as an effective tool in the fight against cancer.