A Cutting Edge Cancer Treatment for Pets
What is Electrochemotherapy?
Electrochemotherapy allows for a small dose of chemotherapy to be used locally or systemically with minimal side effects. The chemotherapy drug is injected into either the tumor or into circulation. Then, electroporation is applied to make the cell membranes of the tumor more porous. This allows a larger amount of the chemotherapy drug to enter the tumor and increases the likelihood of killing the cancerous cells.
Electrochemotherapy is ideal with residual disease after surgery has been performed, but can be utilized with some tumors that cannot be removed surgically. This treatment option provides a more targeted approach at decreasing the tumor, while minimizing the systemic toxicity to the rest of the body.
- Adenocarcinoma of the Skin
- Mammary Tumors
- Squamous Cell Carcinoma
- Mast Cell Tumors
- Perianal Carcinoma
- Localized Lymphoma (pictured)
- Periorbital Tumors
Electrochemotherapy is administered during an outpatient visit. Depending on the tumor’s response to treatment, 2-3 treatments may be required. If surgery to remove the tumor is considered, electrochemotherapy can be administered during surgery if the location of the tumor makes complete removal difficult.
- Patients are sedated
- Chemotherapy is administered directly into the tumor or into circulation
- After 5 minutes, electroporation is performed
Potential side effects following electrochemotherapy administration are minimal. These may include
- Heat and Mild Redness
- Degranulation in Mast Cell Tumors
Outcome of Electrochemotherapy
Outcomes of electrochemotherapy can be comparable to traditional radiation therapy, while electrochemotherapy is more cost effective in comparison.