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Rigshospitalet - a part of Copenhagen University Hospital

Electrochemotherapy in the head and neck area: an addition to the treatment armamentarium

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PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Electrochemotherapy (ECT) is increasingly used in different settings in head and neck cancer patients when conventional treatment options are not available.

RECENT FINDINGS: Recent improvements of electroporation and ECT include new advanced electrode probes, the combination with intratumorally injected supraphysiological doses of calcium and an update of the standard operating procedures.

SUMMARY: ECT is a treatment modality that combines administration of a chemotherapeutic drug, for example, bleomycin, with electroporation therapy (EPT). EPT uses brief, high-intensity, pulsed electrical currents to enhance the uptake of cytotoxic drugs by producing a transient increase in cell wall permeability. ECT increases the effect of cytostatic drugs, is independent on histology of the lesion, enables treatment to previously treated areas, preserves healthy tissue, has no significant side effects (low-dose chemotherapy) and enables repeated treatments. ECT can be combined with other treatment modalities and is an addition to the current treatment options of head and neck cancer. ECT is not only able to palliate symptoms but can also provide complete responses and curation.

Original languageEnglish
JournalCurrent opinion in otolaryngology & head and neck surgery
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)112-117
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2020

ID: 59814897