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Clin Transl Oncol. 2011 Jan;13(1):18-24. doi: 10.1007/s12094-011-0612-2.

Electrochemotherapy for treatment of skin and soft tissue tumours. Update and definition of its role in multimodal therapy.

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  • 1Plataforma de Oncología Fundación Tedeca, Hospital USP San Jaime, Torrevieja, Alicante, Spain.


Electrochemotherapy (ECT) is a therapeutical procedure based on the induction of cell membrane electroporation, by cell exposure to electric fields lasting a few microseconds, combined with the local or systemic administration of cytotoxic drugs, with an intracellular target and high intrinsic efficacy, but poor cell membrane permeability. ECT is an effective local therapy for any histological tumour that has been used clinically since 2005 and is currently in use in 83 centres all over Europe. In the literature, ECT as a local oncological treatment shows an objective response between 70 and 90% in mucocutaneous primary and metastatic lesions, is cost effective and has few local and systemic side effects. In this manuscript, we present an overview of the European experience in ECT, as well as our own experience in a specialised Spanish oncological centre and in a basic oncological unit in Nicaragua. The purpose is to reflect on the role that this procedure could have in the treatment of skin and mucosal cancer as part of a multidisciplinary approach.

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