Utility of electrochemotherapy in melanoma treatment

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Abstract

PURPOSE OF REVIEW: In the present study, the role of electrochemotherapy (ECT) in the advanced melanoma setting, either as alternative treatment modality to conventional therapies or as palliative care, is reviewed and the perspective to combine ECT with biological response modifiers and immunotherapeutic compounds is discussed. RECENT FINDINGS: ECT refers to the combination of electroporation and administration of anticancer drugs for local treatment of solid neoplasms. Electroporation uses short and intense electric pulses to induce a transient permeabilization of the cell membrane by creation of pores, thus allowing molecules, such as chemotherapeutic agents, to freely diffuse into the cytosol. ECT has shown to be effective and clinically well tolerated in the local control of primary and metastatic solid tumors of diverse histotypes in preclinical and clinical studies, thus, emerging as useful local treatment modality for disseminated superficial melanoma. So far, only a few data on the role of immunological response in ECT-treated patients have been reported. SUMMARY: Treatment regimens combining ECT to biological response modifiers (interleukin-2, interferon) and immunotherapeutic compounds should be further explored in animal and human cancer models; immunotherapy combined to ECT could broaden the therapeutic indications of ECT, by rendering it effective also on distant unreachable or untreated lesions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)155-161
Number of pages7
JournalCurrent Opinion in Oncology
Volume24
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2012

Keywords

  • immunotherapy
  • local therapy
  • locoregional therapies
  • melanoma
  • palliative therapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology

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