Irreversible electroporation of human primary uveal melanoma in enucleated eyes

Y. Mandel, S Laufer, M Belkin, B Rubinsky, J Peer, S Frenkel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Uveal melanoma (UM) is the most common primary intraocular tumor in adults and is characterized by high rates of metastatic disease. Although brachytherapy is the most common globe-sparing treatment option for small- and medium-sized tumors, the treatment is associated with severe adverse reactions and does not lead to increased survival rates as compared to enucleation. The use of irreversible electroporation (IRE) for tumor ablation has potential advantages in the treatment of tumors in complex organs such as the eye. Following previous theoretical work, herein we evaluate the use of IRE for uveal tumor ablation in human ex vivo eye model. Enucleated eyes of patients with uveal melanoma were treated with short electric pulses (50–100 µs, 1000–2000 V/cm) using a customized electrode design. Tumor bioimpedance was measured before and after treatment and was followed by histopathological evaluation. We found that IRE caused tumor ablation characterized by cell membrane disruption while sparing the non-cellular sclera. Membrane disruption and loss of cellular capacitance were also associated with significant reduction in total tumor impedance and loss of impedance frequency dependence. The effect was more pronounced near the pulsing electrodes and was dependent on time from treatment to fixation. Future studies should further evaluate the potential of IRE as an alternative method of uveal melanoma treatment.
Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)71789-71789
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number9
StatePublished - 2013


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