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Thermal properties of the liver: improving outcome from ablation of liver cancer

24 months
Approved budget:
Mr Peter Swan
Health issue:
Cancer (oncology)
Proposal type:
Clinical Research Training Fellowship
Lay summary
I am currently in my first year as a doctoral candidate with the Univeristy of Auckland. My background is in clinical surgery; having finished my surgical training I completed fellowships in liver, pancreas and biliary disease and have worked as a consultant surgeon in this field. My research interests are liver cancer, which represents the third largest cause of cancer deaths in New Zealand. The best treatment remains surgical removal; unfortunately the vast majority of patients are unsuitable. Techniques that use thermal energy to destroy the cancer in-situ (ablation) have emerged with promising results, albeit scope for improvement. Our research aims to identify biophysical factors that influence ablation efficacy. Using experiments on specimens, in-vivo human livers and rodent livers, the effect of tumour type, water content, heat capacity, background liver and modulation of environement will be elicited. Improved understanding will improve outcome and extend benefit to more patients.