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Establishing a Quantitative Endpoint for Transarterial Embolization Utilizing Real-time Pressure Measurements

Team Members:
  • Steven Chen
  • Prateek Gowda
  • Joanna Guo
  • Jake Dohyung Kim
  • Anil Palepu
  • Tatiana Gelaf Romer
  • Miguel Sobral
  • Andrew Tsai
  • Clifford Weiss, MD
  • Nicholas Durr, PhD


For 85% of liver cancer patients with unresectable tumors, the standard of care is transarterial embolization therapy, a procedure in which the blood supply to a tumor is blocked via injection of embolic particles into the tumor site using a microcatheter. Currently, physicians monitor embolization procedures and decide on an endpoint using subjective visual cues. This prevents them from accurately assessing the extent to which the tumor is embolized. In particular, physicians often cannot detect when they have over- embolized, which can lead to retrograde flow of embolic particles and embolization of off-target sites, both of which can cause serious toxicities. Therefore, interventional radiologists need an objective method to consistently deliver an optimal quantity of embolic agents, in order to prevent unintended non-target embolization and retrograde reflux.

The novel catheter technology we are developing 1) measures pressure in and around the tumor vasculature in real time and 2) associates the observed pressure change with degree of embolization, allowing for prevention of reflux of embolic particles and off-target embolization.

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