Use of neoadjuvant electrochemotherapy to treat a large metastatic lesion of the cheek in a patient with melanoma

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Abstract

Background: Approximately 200,000 new cases of melanoma are diagnosed worldwide each year. Skin metastases are a frequent event, occurring in 18.2% of cases. This can be distressing for the patient, as the number and size of cutaneous lesions increases, often worsened by ulceration, bleeding and pain. Electrochemotherapy (ECT) is a local modality for the treatment of cutaneous or subcutaneous tumors that allows delivery of low- and non-permeant drugs into cells. ECT has been used in palliative management of metastatic melanoma to improve patients' quality of life. This is, to our knowledge, the first application of ECT as neoadjuvant treatment of metastatic subcutaneous melanoma.Methods and results: A 44-year-old Caucasian woman underwent extensive surgical resection of a melanoma, with a Breslow thickness of 1.5 mm, located on the right side of her scalp. No further treatment was given and the woman remained well until she came to our attention with a large nodule in her right cheek. Whole-body fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography/computed tomography (FDG PET/CT) was performed for staging and treatment monitoring. Baseline FDG PET/CT showed the lesion in the cheek to have a maximal standardized uptake value (SUVmax) of 19.5 with no evidence of further disease spread. Fine needle aspiration cytology confirmed the presence of metastatic melanoma. The patient underwent two sessions of ECT with intravenous injections of bleomycin using a Cliniporator TM as neoadjuvant treatment permitting conservative surgery three months later.Follow-up PET/CT three months after the first ECT treatment showed a marked decrease in SUVmax to 5. Further monitoring was performed through monthly PET/CT studies. Multiple cytology examinations showed necrotic tissue. Conservative surgery was carried out three months after the second ECT. Reconstruction was easily achieved through a rotation flap. Pathological examination of the specimen showed necrotic tissue without residual melanoma. One year after the last ECT treatment, the patient was disease-free as determined by contrast-enhanced CT and PET/-CT scans with a good functional and aesthetic result.Conclusions: ECT represents a safe and effective therapeutic approach that is associated with clear benefits in terms of quality of life (minimal discomfort, mild post-treatment pain and short duration of hospital stay) and may, in the neoadjuvant setting as reported here, offer the option of more conservative surgery and an improved cosmetic effect with complete local tumor control.

Original languageEnglish
Article number131
JournalJournal of Translational Medicine
Volume10
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 22 2012

Fingerprint

Electrochemotherapy
Cheek
Cytology
Surgery
Melanoma
Positron emission tomography
Tomography
Tumors
Tissue
Computerized tomography
Monitoring
Bleomycin
Needles
Neoadjuvant Therapy
Skin
Therapeutics
Cell Biology
Quality of Life
Pain
Pharmaceutical Preparations

Keywords

  • Adjuvant treatment
  • Electrochemotherapy
  • Melanoma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Medicine(all)

Cite this

@article{4d1722449a6f450da57245c08ec7d314,
title = "Use of neoadjuvant electrochemotherapy to treat a large metastatic lesion of the cheek in a patient with melanoma",
abstract = "Background: Approximately 200,000 new cases of melanoma are diagnosed worldwide each year. Skin metastases are a frequent event, occurring in 18.2{\%} of cases. This can be distressing for the patient, as the number and size of cutaneous lesions increases, often worsened by ulceration, bleeding and pain. Electrochemotherapy (ECT) is a local modality for the treatment of cutaneous or subcutaneous tumors that allows delivery of low- and non-permeant drugs into cells. ECT has been used in palliative management of metastatic melanoma to improve patients' quality of life. This is, to our knowledge, the first application of ECT as neoadjuvant treatment of metastatic subcutaneous melanoma.Methods and results: A 44-year-old Caucasian woman underwent extensive surgical resection of a melanoma, with a Breslow thickness of 1.5 mm, located on the right side of her scalp. No further treatment was given and the woman remained well until she came to our attention with a large nodule in her right cheek. Whole-body fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography/computed tomography (FDG PET/CT) was performed for staging and treatment monitoring. Baseline FDG PET/CT showed the lesion in the cheek to have a maximal standardized uptake value (SUVmax) of 19.5 with no evidence of further disease spread. Fine needle aspiration cytology confirmed the presence of metastatic melanoma. The patient underwent two sessions of ECT with intravenous injections of bleomycin using a Cliniporator TM as neoadjuvant treatment permitting conservative surgery three months later.Follow-up PET/CT three months after the first ECT treatment showed a marked decrease in SUVmax to 5. Further monitoring was performed through monthly PET/CT studies. Multiple cytology examinations showed necrotic tissue. Conservative surgery was carried out three months after the second ECT. Reconstruction was easily achieved through a rotation flap. Pathological examination of the specimen showed necrotic tissue without residual melanoma. One year after the last ECT treatment, the patient was disease-free as determined by contrast-enhanced CT and PET/-CT scans with a good functional and aesthetic result.Conclusions: ECT represents a safe and effective therapeutic approach that is associated with clear benefits in terms of quality of life (minimal discomfort, mild post-treatment pain and short duration of hospital stay) and may, in the neoadjuvant setting as reported here, offer the option of more conservative surgery and an improved cosmetic effect with complete local tumor control.",
keywords = "Adjuvant treatment, Electrochemotherapy, Melanoma",
author = "Nicola Mozzillo and Corrado Carac{\`o} and Stefano Mori and {Di Monta}, Gianluca and Gerardo Botti and Ascierto, {Paolo A.} and Corradina Carac{\`o} and Luigi Aloj",
year = "2012",
month = "6",
day = "22",
doi = "10.1186/1479-5876-10-131",
language = "English",
volume = "10",
journal = "Journal of Translational Medicine",
issn = "1479-5876",
publisher = "BioMed Central Ltd.",
number = "1",

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T1 - Use of neoadjuvant electrochemotherapy to treat a large metastatic lesion of the cheek in a patient with melanoma

AU - Mozzillo, Nicola

AU - Caracò, Corrado

AU - Mori, Stefano

AU - Di Monta, Gianluca

AU - Botti, Gerardo

AU - Ascierto, Paolo A.

AU - Caracò, Corradina

AU - Aloj, Luigi

PY - 2012/6/22

Y1 - 2012/6/22

N2 - Background: Approximately 200,000 new cases of melanoma are diagnosed worldwide each year. Skin metastases are a frequent event, occurring in 18.2% of cases. This can be distressing for the patient, as the number and size of cutaneous lesions increases, often worsened by ulceration, bleeding and pain. Electrochemotherapy (ECT) is a local modality for the treatment of cutaneous or subcutaneous tumors that allows delivery of low- and non-permeant drugs into cells. ECT has been used in palliative management of metastatic melanoma to improve patients' quality of life. This is, to our knowledge, the first application of ECT as neoadjuvant treatment of metastatic subcutaneous melanoma.Methods and results: A 44-year-old Caucasian woman underwent extensive surgical resection of a melanoma, with a Breslow thickness of 1.5 mm, located on the right side of her scalp. No further treatment was given and the woman remained well until she came to our attention with a large nodule in her right cheek. Whole-body fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography/computed tomography (FDG PET/CT) was performed for staging and treatment monitoring. Baseline FDG PET/CT showed the lesion in the cheek to have a maximal standardized uptake value (SUVmax) of 19.5 with no evidence of further disease spread. Fine needle aspiration cytology confirmed the presence of metastatic melanoma. The patient underwent two sessions of ECT with intravenous injections of bleomycin using a Cliniporator TM as neoadjuvant treatment permitting conservative surgery three months later.Follow-up PET/CT three months after the first ECT treatment showed a marked decrease in SUVmax to 5. Further monitoring was performed through monthly PET/CT studies. Multiple cytology examinations showed necrotic tissue. Conservative surgery was carried out three months after the second ECT. Reconstruction was easily achieved through a rotation flap. Pathological examination of the specimen showed necrotic tissue without residual melanoma. One year after the last ECT treatment, the patient was disease-free as determined by contrast-enhanced CT and PET/-CT scans with a good functional and aesthetic result.Conclusions: ECT represents a safe and effective therapeutic approach that is associated with clear benefits in terms of quality of life (minimal discomfort, mild post-treatment pain and short duration of hospital stay) and may, in the neoadjuvant setting as reported here, offer the option of more conservative surgery and an improved cosmetic effect with complete local tumor control.

AB - Background: Approximately 200,000 new cases of melanoma are diagnosed worldwide each year. Skin metastases are a frequent event, occurring in 18.2% of cases. This can be distressing for the patient, as the number and size of cutaneous lesions increases, often worsened by ulceration, bleeding and pain. Electrochemotherapy (ECT) is a local modality for the treatment of cutaneous or subcutaneous tumors that allows delivery of low- and non-permeant drugs into cells. ECT has been used in palliative management of metastatic melanoma to improve patients' quality of life. This is, to our knowledge, the first application of ECT as neoadjuvant treatment of metastatic subcutaneous melanoma.Methods and results: A 44-year-old Caucasian woman underwent extensive surgical resection of a melanoma, with a Breslow thickness of 1.5 mm, located on the right side of her scalp. No further treatment was given and the woman remained well until she came to our attention with a large nodule in her right cheek. Whole-body fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography/computed tomography (FDG PET/CT) was performed for staging and treatment monitoring. Baseline FDG PET/CT showed the lesion in the cheek to have a maximal standardized uptake value (SUVmax) of 19.5 with no evidence of further disease spread. Fine needle aspiration cytology confirmed the presence of metastatic melanoma. The patient underwent two sessions of ECT with intravenous injections of bleomycin using a Cliniporator TM as neoadjuvant treatment permitting conservative surgery three months later.Follow-up PET/CT three months after the first ECT treatment showed a marked decrease in SUVmax to 5. Further monitoring was performed through monthly PET/CT studies. Multiple cytology examinations showed necrotic tissue. Conservative surgery was carried out three months after the second ECT. Reconstruction was easily achieved through a rotation flap. Pathological examination of the specimen showed necrotic tissue without residual melanoma. One year after the last ECT treatment, the patient was disease-free as determined by contrast-enhanced CT and PET/-CT scans with a good functional and aesthetic result.Conclusions: ECT represents a safe and effective therapeutic approach that is associated with clear benefits in terms of quality of life (minimal discomfort, mild post-treatment pain and short duration of hospital stay) and may, in the neoadjuvant setting as reported here, offer the option of more conservative surgery and an improved cosmetic effect with complete local tumor control.

KW - Adjuvant treatment

KW - Electrochemotherapy

KW - Melanoma

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