Bleomycin electrosclerotherapy (BEST) for the treatment of vascular malformations. An International Network for Sharing Practices on Electrochemotherapy (InspECT) study group report
Background. Biomedical applications of electroporation are expanding out of the field of oncology into vaccination, treatment of arrhythmias and now in the treatment of vascular malformations. Bleomycin is a widely used sclerosing agent in the treatment of various vascular malformations. The application of electric pulses in addition to bleomycin enhances the effectiveness of the drug, as demonstrated by electrochemotherapy, which utilizes bleomycin in the treatment of tumors. The same principle is used in bleomycin electrosclerotherapy (BEST). The approach seems to be effective in the treatment of low-flow (venous and lymphatic) and, potentially, even high-flow (arteriovenous) malformations. Although there are only a few published reports to date, the surgical community is interested, and an increasing number of centers are applying BEST in the treatment of vascular malformations. Within the International Network for Sharing Practices on Electrochemotherapy (InspECT) consortium, a dedicated working group has been constituted to develop standard operating procedures for BEST and foster clinical trials.
Conclusions. By treatment standardization and successful completion of clinical trials demonstrating the effectiveness and safety of the approach, higher quality data and better clinical outcomes may be achieved.
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