Surgical margin status in cancer surgery represents an important oncologic parameter affecting overall prognosis. The risk of disease recurrence is minimized and survival often prolonged if margin-negative resection can be accomplished during cancer surgery. Unfortunately, negative margins are not always surgically achievable due to tumor invasion into adjacent tissues or involvement of critical vasculature. Herein, we present a novel intra-operative device created to facilitate a uniform and mild heating profile to cause hyperthermic destruction of vessel-encasing tumors while safeguarding the encased vessel. We use pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma as an in vitro and an in vivo cancer model for these studies as it is a representative model of a tumor that commonly involves major mesenteric vessels. In vitro data suggests that mild hyperthermia (41-46 °C for ten minutes) is an optimal thermal dose to induce high levels of cancer cell death, alter cancer cell's proteomic profiles and eliminate cancer stem cells while preserving non-malignant cells. In vivo and in silico data supports the well-known phenomena of a vascular heat sink effect that causes high temperature differentials through tissues undergoing hyperthermia, however temperatures can be predicted and used as a tool for the surgeon to adjust thermal doses delivered for various tumor margins.
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