Electroporation-mediated transcatheter arterial chemoembolization in the rabbit VX2 liver tumor model

Yang Guo, Yue Zhang, Ning Jin, Rachel Klein, Jodi Nicolai, Robert J. Lewandowski, Robert K. Ryu, Reed A. Omary, Andrew C. Larson*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Rationale and Objectives: Electropermeabilization involves the application of electrical pulses to increase cell membrane permeability. The purpose of our study was to demonstrate the potential to use electroporation-mediated transcatheter arterial chemoembolization (E-TACE) approaches to increase liver tumor drug uptake while using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) for intraprocedural optimization of these procedures. Methods: Fourteen VX2 tumors were grown in the left hepatic lobes of 8 rabbits. Two tumors were grown in each of 6 rabbits (1 tumor serving as E-TACE-treated tumor and the other as nonelectroporated control), and solitary larger tumors were grown in 2 rabbits (half of the tumor treated with E-TACE, remaining half serving as control). Each rabbit was selectively catheterized under digital subtraction angiography guidance. Baseline MRI was performed to generate tumor contrast enhancement curves following catheter-directed infusion of gadopentetate dimeglumine to estimate the proper time delay between subsequent bolus infusion of cisplatin and application of electrical pulses (electrodes were used to deliver 8, 100-μs, 1300-V pulses at the selected delay interval postinfusion). Three hours after E-TACE, rabbits were euthanized, and tumors were sectioned for inductively coupled plasma mass spectroscopy measurements of platinum concentration (serving as reference standard of cisplatin uptake levels). Results: Inductively coupled plasma mass spectroscopy results demonstrated significantly increased cisplatin uptake in E-TACE-treated tumor tissues, increases of 6.0 ± 3.3-fold compared with transcatheter infusion alone (P = 0.017). Conclusions: Our findings suggest that our E-TACE approach may significantly increase liver tumor drug uptake after targeted transcatheter infusion. MRI measurements permitted intraprocedural guidance during these catheter-directed E-TACE procedures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)116-120
Number of pages5
JournalInvestigative radiology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2012


  • MRI
  • electroporation
  • inductively coupled plasma mass spectroscopy (ICP-MS)
  • liver cancer
  • transcatheter arterial chemoembolization (TACE)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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