The role of Electrochemotherapy in breast cancer for patients with local recurrence or cutaneous metastases.
With advances in the treatment of metastatic cancer, patients are living longer and are more likely to experience the symptoms of advanced disease such as cutaneous metastases (CM).
CM can cause signiﬁcant morbidity including infection, bleeding, odour and pain. It has been demonstrated that amongst women with advanced or recurrent breast cancer, CM were associated with the greatest effect on quality of life. Systemic therapy alone often has limited efﬁcacy in CM. 
Electrochemotherapy for breast cancer patients
Several clinical studies demonstrate the efﬁcacy and safety of Electrochemotherapy (ECT) treatment with the CLINIPORATORTM in breast cancer patients.
How effective is Electrochemotherapy?
The effectiveness of Electrochemotherapy is determined by the following factors:
- Number and size of the lesions
- Anatomical location
- Sensitivity to endocrine treatment
These considerations help to deﬁne which eligible patients will respond the best to the treatment and who will have good local tumour control and better survival overall.
Patients who show the best response to Electrochemotherapy
NICE published guidance on Electrochemotherapy in March 2013, saying that it may reduce symptoms and improve quality of life for appropriately selected patients. NICE has said that this procedure can be: ‘offered routinely as a palliative treatment option for people with metastases in the skin from tumours of non-skin origin or melanoma…the procedure may reduce symptoms and improve quality of life for people with disease that cannot be treated with, or doesn’t respond to, other treatments’.
Treat earlier for better results
Results from recent clinical studies have indicated that patients with ten or fewer skin metastases, which are smaller than 3cm in diameter, are likely to have a positive response following treatment with Electrochemotherapy.
In addition to the patients described in the figue above, those patients requiring palliation of large ulcerated bleeding lesions can be treated with Electrochemotherapy.
This treatment can improve quality of life and provide symptomatic relief, including immediate cessation of bleeding, decreased odour and reduction in ulceration.
Treatment with Electrochemotherapy is appropriate for patients suffering with recurrent cutaneous disease. The best response is obtained when the tumour is less than 3cm in diameter, is sensitive to endocrine treatment and the patient has lesions that are localised close to the scar of the primary tumour. Local control of the disease has an important effect on quality of life and improves life expectancy.
Electrochemotherapy is an effective supplement to a cytotoxic systemic therapy and can be considered an effective addition to the cancer treatment armamentarium.
Information & Support
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