“Electrochemotherapy – Optional Supplementary Treatment for Loco-Regional Metastasized Breast carcinoma”
Electrochemotherapy (ECT) is an established procedure for treating breast cancer loco-regional recurrences following surgical intervention and/ or radiotherapy. Limited information is available on ECT feasibility and safety in combination or as a concomitant procedure to cytotoxic systemic therapy in recurrent breast cancer.
Aim of the study: To evaluate the efficacy of ECT as a supplemental local therapy to systemic therapy. ECT local and systemic toxicity and side effects were recorded and whether the anticipated local therapeutic effect of ECT could be influenced by the concomitant use of systemic therapies was investigated.
Materials and methods: 33 patients with loco-regional metastasized breast carcinoma were treated and observed over a period of three years with 46 ECT applications for local tumour control in addition to established systemic therapy.
Results: Data was collected over a period of three years on a high-risk group of 33 patients. Some patients received repeated ECT applications. Objective tumor response was observed in 90% of the treated patients. The best time for ECT in patients undergoing chemotherapy, was generally found to be one week before the following chemotherapy administration. Toxicity and response of ECT did not differ between patients not undergoing any systemic therapy and those receiving only endocrinal treatments. Patients showed no increased local toxicity, especially no higher dermal toxicity, e.g. formation of local necrosis. ECT proved to be an effective supplement to a cytotoxic systemic therapy, especially for high-risk patients who did not respond well to systemic therapy of loco-regional metastasis, without creating any greater systemic or loco-regional toxicities.