Reduction of intratumoral brain perfusion by noninvasive transcranial electrical stimulation

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Science Advances  14 Aug 2019:
Vol. 5, no. 8, eaau9309
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aau9309


Malignant brain neoplasms have a poor prognosis despite aggressive treatments. Animal models and evidence from human bodily tumors reveal that sustained reduction in tumor perfusion via electrical stimulation promotes tumor necrosis, therefore possibly representing a therapeutic option for patients with brain tumors. Here, we demonstrate that transcranial electrical stimulation (tES) allows to safely and noninvasively reduce intratumoral perfusion in humans. Selected patients with glioblastoma or metastasis underwent tES, while perfusion was assessed using magnetic resonance imaging. Multichannel tES was applied according to personalized biophysical modeling, to maximize the induced electrical field over the solid tumor mass. All patients completed the study and tolerated the procedure without adverse effects, with tES selectively reducing the perfusion of the solid tumor. Results potentially open the door to noninvasive therapeutic interventions in brain tumors based on stand-alone tES or its combination with other available therapies.

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