Bone metastatic disease is a major cause of pain and decreased quality of life in patients with cancer. In addition to systemic therapy and pain control with narcotic analgesics, standard local treatments include palliation with radiation therapy, surgery, embolization or focused ultrasound treatment. However 20–30% of patients do not respond to conventional treatments, increasing the interest in alternative therapies.
Electrochemotherapy (ECT) – a combination of high-voltage electric pulses and of an anticancer drug – has demonstrated high effectiveness in the treatment of cutaneous and subcutaneous tumours and proved to be successfully used in the treatment of tumours regardless of its histological origin. Because of its demonstrated efficacy in the treatment of cutaneous and subcutaneous tumours, its application deserves to be extended to the treatment of internal tumours. To advance electrochemotherapy to treating internal solid tumours, new technological developments enabled treatment of internal tumours in daily clinical practice. Preclinical studies and clinical trial demonstrated the feasibility and efficacy of electrochemotherapy for the treatment of bone metastases.
ECT should be considered a new feasible tool in the treatment of bone metastases in place or in combination with standard local treatments; further developments are required to extend the use of this technique to spine metastases.
Electroporation Electrochemotherapy Cancer treatment Treatment planning
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