Interim data were published from a phase I trial on the use of IRE in focal tumour ablation in prostate cancer.
IRE delivers brief electric pulses to attain non-thermal focal ablation that spares blood vessels, connective tissue and other sensitive organs. The phase I trial was designed to determine the safety of the procedure and the optimal electric field thresholds to attain complete ablation of the cancerous tissue.
Patients had the IRE procedure three to four weeks prior to prostatectomy, which enabled post-procedural microscopic examination of the ablation results. Pre-specified ablation zones were safely and accurately achieved in cancerous human prostates with no serious adverse events associated with the IRE procedure or the prostatectomy.
The prostate capsule was unaffected and histology showed regions of tissue necrosis in the areas of electrode placement, all of which were contained within the healthy prostatic parenchyma. A variable extent of reactive stromal fibrosis and regenerative change in epithelial lining of prostatic ducts was observed surrounding the necrotic focus.