Electroporationbased therapies (irreversible electroporation and electrochemotherapy) provide interesting alternatives to standard ablative techniques, particularly for deep seated tumors near vital organs or important vessels. However these nonthermal techniques, which preserve the tissue scaffold and reduce bleeding are still mostly limited to cutaneous and subcutaneous tumors. Such limitation is mainly due to the technical difficulties raised by these therapies for which the a priori determination of the treated zone is trickier than for standard ablative techniques. Moreover, these therapies suffer from the lack of biological knowledge concerning the local relapse and the biological features of the region affected by the electric field. Moreover appropriate post treatment protocols to evaluate the tumor response are still missing. The project NUMEP, composed of computer scientists (Inria MONC), biologists (IPBS) and radiologist (CHU J. Verdier), proposes to provide new insights in understanding biologically and in modeling numerically the effect of electroporationbased therapies on tumors, in order to provide numerical tools enriched by biological knowledge that help the clinical applications of electroporation in cancer treatment. For the sake of coherence we will focus on hepatocarcinoma to the liver. Based on medical image acquisition during the procedure (from Carm Cone beam CT) we plan to provide accurate numerical tools for realtime simulations of the electric field distribution, which accounts for the exact position of the electrodes. We also plan to predict the different zone affected by the treatment based on new biological knowledge of electroporationbased therapies thanks to designed experiments on spheroids and mice. The longterm goal is to propose numerical tools that will be incorporated in the medical image processing tools to superimpose the electric field distribution and the affected zones on the image during the treatment procedure.
NumEP is lead by C. Poignard, research scientist at Inria. The local coordinators are O. Séror, PhD-MD Prof. at CHU J.Verdier, and M.-P. Rols, CNRS Research Director at IPBS.
The overall objectives is to provide numerical tools to model spheroid electroporation.more