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12/09/2014 (Added to site)
Author(s): Campana, L. G.; Mali, B.; Sersa, G.; Valpione, S.; Giorgi, C. A.; Strojan, P.; Miklavcic, D.; Rossi, C. R.

Electrochemotherapy in non-melanoma head and neck cancers: A retrospective analysis of the treated cases

Journal: British Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, S0266-4356 (2014): 00543-9, pp. n/a
DOI: 10.1016/j.bjoms.2014.08.004
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Abstract: Electrochemotherapy increases the permeability of tumours to drugs by electric voltages applied locally. Its value in tumours of the head and neck is unknown. We retrospectively reviewed a 2-centre database, and found 39 patients with squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) of the oral cavity or oropharynx (n=12) or non-melanoma skin tumours (n=27) who had been treated with bleomycin electrochemotherapy with needle electrodes. A further 3 patients were given cisplatin with electrochemotherapy (n=2), or bleomycin with electrochemotherapy by plate electrodes (n=1). Local toxicity was mild. The complete response rate was 38% and was associated with whether the tumour was primary or recurrent (p<0.001), its size (p=0.02), and the route by which the drug was given (p=0.02). "We did not study enough patients with basal cell carcinomas to say whether the response was significantly better or not (p=0.07)". Skin tumours and SCC of the oral cavity or oropharynx showed comparable complete responses (41% and 33%, p=0.73) and local control (neologism, 51% compared with 59%, p=0.89), particularly if they were small (p=0.001), primary (p=0.002), chemonaive (p=0.03). Patients treated with cisplatin were unresponsive. Electrochemotherapy with bleomycin is an effective option for skin tumours of the head and neck and is a feasible alternative in highly selected (small, primary, and not previously treated) SCC of the oral cavity and oropharynx.



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