Invention for Innovation (i4i)
Design and Evaluation of Novel Conformal Combination Coagulation and Cutting Radiofrequency Electrode for Efficient In-situ Ablation of Solid Cancer, supported by NHS National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) under the Invention for Innovation (i4i) Programme for a feasibility study.
Starts:1 November 2010
Ends:31 October 2011
Cancer in solid organs (e.g. liver, kidney, breast) can be destroyed by heating, accomplished by placing an electrode in the tumour to deliver alternating high-frequency current through it. This concept – ‘Radio Frequency Ablation’, RFA - is popular as it may avoid major surgery to remove the tumour. The disadvantage is that the heating may be incomplete: a small region of cancer, with its blood supply, may survive and the cancer will re-grow, particularly if the tumour is larger than 3.5 cm. Such recurrence occurs in roughly 20% of cases. Incomplete heating may occur from other causes including inadequate probe design.
In this project we will develop a very different RFA probe which aims to completely destroy the tumor large or small. We have already created a computer model of this design which demonstrates that the heating is well-controlled and the surrounding healthy tissue is unaffected. A simplified crude prototype has been tested and demonstrated the feasibility of our novel design and concept for complete destruction of the target tumor. The novel design is under patent application.
Ultimately, there will be two benefits from this project: (i) reduced risk of tumour recurrence and (ii) wider use for large tumours.