Enhancing electroporation delivery for pancreatic cancer

This research is kindly supported by the Teddy Daly Memorial Climb.


Dr Patrick Forde and Katie Cooke

The project aims to develop a therapy that has the ability to overcome treatment resistance in pancreatic cancer.

A panel of pancreatic cancer cells have been selected and these will be tested for their sensitivity and resistance to commonly used chemotherapy drugs such as Gemcitabine. Once the cells sensitivity and resistance have been identified electrochemotherapy (ECT) will be applied to improve upon the response rate of these resistance cells.

ECT combines electroporation with chemotherapy drugs allowing for more of the chemotherapy to be delivered inside the cells. We will also combine cancer cell cycle modulators to improve upon the resistance by slowing down the cells from dividing and multiplying. The slowdown in cell division makes cancer cells more susceptible to electrochemotherapy. The overall goal is to develop a clinically relevant protocol that can be used in patients to treat resistant pancreatic cancer.

Research Findings


Ali MS, Gill KS, Saglio G, Cilloni D, Soden DM, Forde PF. Expressional changes in stemness markers post electrochemotherapy in pancreatic cancer cells. Bioelectrochemistry. 2018 Aug;122:84-92. doi: 10.1016/j.bioelechem.2018.03.009. Epub 2018 Mar 15. PMID: 29574322.

Fernandes P, O’Donovan TR, McKenna SL, Forde PF. Electrochemotherapy Causes Caspase-Independent Necrotic-Like Death in Pancreatic Cancer Cells. Cancers (Basel). 2019 Aug 14;11(8):1177. doi: 10.3390/cancers11081177. PMID: 31416294; PMCID: PMC6721532.


Start year:
End year:
Principal Investigator:
Dr. Patrick Forde
Katie Cooke
University College Cork
Grant funding:
Research kindly supported by the Teddy Daly Memorial Climb
Cancer type:
Pancreatic cancer
Linked Breakthrough Research Priorities: 
1, 4

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