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24/09/2013 (Added to site)
Author(s): Perrone, A.M.; Galuppi, A.; Cima, S.; Pozzati, F.; Arcelli, A.; Cortesi, A.; Procaccini, M.; Pellegrini, A.; Zamagni, C.; De Iaco, P.

Electrochemotherapy can be used as palliative treatment in patients with repeated loco-regional recurrence of squamous vulvar cancer: a preliminary study

Journal: Gyynecologic Oncology, 130/3 (2013), pp. 550-553
DOI: 10.1016/j.ygyno.2013.06.028
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Abstract:

Objective: Electrochemotherapy (ECT) is an attractive treatment for solid cutaneous tumours with a good response rate (55–92%). No studies have evaluated ECT performed in vulvar cancer. The aim of our study was to evaluate the safety, local tumour efficacy and relief of symptoms of ECT treatment in patients affected by recurrence of squamocellular vulvar cancer (V-SCC) unsuitable for standard treatments.

Methods: We enrolled nine patients with histological diagnosis of recurrence of V-SCC. Intravenous bleomycin was injected under general sedation after an accurate mapping of all lesions and ECT was performed. Patients were reviewed after one, three and six months. Response to therapy was evaluated using RECIST criteria and quality of life (QoL) was evaluated via questionnaires.

Results: The median age was 84 years (range 80–90 years). The main location of recurrences was the vulva (87.5%). Multiple lesions were present in 25% of cases. No peri-operative complications were observed. Response to therapy was complete in 62.5% of patients, partial in 12.5%, no change was observed in 12.5% and progression of disease in 12.5% of patients respectively. Evaluation of symptoms showed a significant reduction of pain, bleeding, odour (p < 0.04) and urinary discomfort (p < 0.04). We observed two relapses at four and seven months after treatment. After nine months fifty percent of patients were alive.

Conclusions: Our preliminary study showed that ECT is a suitable procedure in elderly patients with loco-regional vulvar cancer relapses. ECT can be used as palliative therapy and the treatment relieves symptoms and improves QoL.


Keywords: cancer    cancer treatment    electrochemotherapy   

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