The invention is an accurate and reliable device for ablating tumors and other lesions with little collateral damage. This new form of image-guided ablation therapy delivers electric fields of a particular waveform to induce cell death through two independent complimentary pathways. One component of the waveform creates pores in the cell membrane, causing cell death. The second component causes a pH change in the tumor microenvironment, which stops proliferation of tumor cells. This ablation keeps the extracellular matrix intact while destroying tumor cells, allowing the matrix to repopulate with healthy cells through regeneration.
The investigators have tested this device for treating Barrett’s esophagus (BE), a precursor to esophageal cancer commonly caused by gastro-esophageal reflux. Pilot animal studies demonstrated successful ablation of the treated region without any procedural or device-related complications. The inventors are also developing two other prototypes, one for ablation of the pancreatic and bile ducts, and another for the ablation of intra-luminal tumors.
This technology has certain advantages over the two most closely related therapeutic techniques currently in use, irreversible electroporation (IRE) and electro-chemical therapy (EChT):
- This technique is significantly faster and allows for greater depth of penetration
- The technique does not cause any heating of tissue and is unaffected by blood flow or proximity to blood vessels in a region
- pH change produced can be adjusted accurately to ensure survival of nearby tissue structures
The global ablation devices market in 2011 was $7.8B and is expected to grow rapidly to $12.4B by 2015. Electric ablation makes up 42% of the global market. Barrett’s esophagus (BE) has an estimated incidence of 5.6% of the population. The average cost of ablation treatment is $7500, with potentially 100,000 cases a year.
Barrett’s esophagus, pancreatic and hepatic duct ablation, ablation of intra-luminal tumors, and other tumor ablation indications
U.S. National 14/910,600 issued; Europe nationals published.
Stephen Solomon, MD, Attending Physician, Chief of Interventional Radiology Service, Memorial Sloan Kettering