Electrochemotherapy: a well-accepted palliative treatment by patients with head and neck tumours

Barbara Pichi, R Pellini, A DE Virgilio, G Spriano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


SUMMARY: Electrochemotherapy (ECT) is a well established treatment strategy for skin tumuors. The aim of this study was to evaluate the feasibility and efficacy of electrochemotherapy in the palliative setting in patients with head and neck malignancies, in terms of improvement of quality of life and in control of pain and bleeding. Twenty-four patients with a loco-regional M0/M1 relapse not suitable for cure with radical intent by surgery or radiotherapy (RT) and not suitable for systemic therapy and/or already treated with it, were admitted to ECT protocol treatment. Clinical features, treatment response, and adverse effects were evaluated. An overall response of 100% was observed. Overall survival probability at 24 months was 46.5% (median OS: 9 months). The multiple application of ECT was associated with improved survival (p = 0.02). Pain, need for medical assistance or dressing and bleeding events was significantly reduced at 1 month after ECT (p #x003C; 0.001). ECT is effective as palliative treatment of non-resectable head and neck malignancies. Its main advantages are improved quality of life, local tumour control and limited side effects.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)181-187
Number of pages7
JournalActa otorhinolaryngologica Italica : organo ufficiale della Societa italiana di otorinolaringologia e chirurgia cervico-facciale
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2018


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