Immune response triggered by the ablation of hepatocellular carcinoma with nanosecond pulsed electric field
Nanosecond pulsed electric field (nsPEF) is a novel, nonthermal, and minimally invasive modality that can ablate solid tumors by inducing apoptosis. Recent animal experiments show that nsPEF can induce the immunogenic cell death of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and stimulate the host’s immune response to kill residual tumor cells and decrease distant metastatic tumors. nsPEF-induced immunity is of great clinical importance because the nonthermal ablation may enhance the immune memory, which can prevent HCC recurrence and metastasis. This review summarized the most advanced research on the effect of nsPEF. The possible mechanisms of how locoregional nsPEF ablation enhances the systemic anticancer immune responses were illustrated. nsPEF stimulates the host immune system to boost stimulation and prevail suppression. Also, nsPEF increases the dendritic cell loading and inhibits the regulatory responses, thereby improving immune stimulation and limiting immunosuppression in HCC-bearing hosts. Therefore, nsPEF has excellent potential for HCC treatment.