New developments for the treatment of cancer with pulsed electric fields: awarded a young IREA researcher

thursday 181723During the "1st World Congress on Electroporation and Pulsed Electric Fields in Biology, Medicine and Food & Environmental Technologies", which was held in in Portoroz (Slovenia) from 5 to 10 September 2015, Dr. Stefania Romeo, a research fellow at IREA in Naples, received the second prize in the category Medicine and Biology of the Young Investigator Competition reserved to young researchers under 35.

The work presented, entitled "Electroporation of a bladder cancer cell line in presence of calcium: efficacy dependence on electric field strength and calcium concentration" (authors: Stefania Romeo, Emilie L. Hansen, Stine K. Frandsen, Julie Gehl), deals with the use of intense pulsed electric fields to facilitate the massive entry of calcium into the tumor cells so as to induce death. This technique is very promising in the field of cancer therapy, being the calcium nontoxic and cheaper than the commonly used drugs for electrochemotherapy.

The methodology was used for the first time by the group of Dr. Julie Gehl from the Department of Oncology at the University of Copenhagen, with whom Dr. Romeo worked in May 2014 in the framework of a short term scientific mission funded by COST TD1104 (European Network for the development of Electroporation-based Technologies and Treatments). During the period of co-operation an experimental work with subsequent analysis of data was done, to optimize some parameters of the technique (electric field intensity and concentration of calcium) in order to increase the efficiency of the treatment.

The results of this work have been published in the journal Plosone

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