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Med Biol Eng Comput. 2008 Oct;46(10):1039-49. doi: 10.1007/s11517-008-0354-7. Epub 2008 Jun 4.

Model simulation and experimental validation of intratumoral chemotherapy using multiple polymer implants.

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  • 1Department of Biomedical Engineering, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH 44106, USA.


Radiofrequency ablation has emerged as a minimally invasive option for liver cancer treatment, but local tumor recurrence is common. To eliminate residual tumor cells in the ablated tumor, biodegradable polymer millirods have been designed for local drug (e.g., doxorubicin) delivery. A limitation of this method has been the extent of drug penetration into the tumor (<5 mm), especially in the peripheral tumor rim where thermal ablation is less effective. To provide drug concentration above the therapeutic level as needed throughout a large tumor, implant strategies with multiple millirods were devised using a computational model. This dynamic, 3-D mass balance model of drug distribution in tissue was used to simulate the consequences of various numbers of implants in different locations. Experimental testing of model predictions was performed in a rabbit VX2 carcinoma model. This study demonstrates the value of multiple implants to provide therapeutic drug levels in large ablated tumors.

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