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26/01/2014 (Added to site)
Author(s): Caracò, C., Mozzillo, N.; Marone, U.; Simeone, E.; Benedetto, L.; Dii Monta, G.; Di Cecilia, M. L.; Botti, G.; Ascierto, P. A.

Long-lasting response to electrochemotherapy in melanoma patients with cutaneous metastasis

Journal: BMC Cancer, 13:564 (2013), pp. 1-4
DOI: 10.1186/1471-2407-13-564
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Abstract:

Background: Treatment of early and multiple cutaneous unresectable recurrences is a major therapeutic problem with around 80% of patients relapsing within 5 years. For lesions refractory to elective treatments, electrochemotherapy (ECT) involving electroporation combined with antineoplastic drug treatment appears to be a new potential option. This study was undertaken to analyze the short- and long-term responses of lesions treated with ECT with intravenous injection of bleomycin in melanoma patients with in-transit disease or distant cutaneous metastases.

Methods: Between June 2007 and September 2012, 60 patients with relapsed and refractory cutaneous melanoma metastases or in-transit disease underwent 100 courses of ECT with intravenous injection of bleomycin. Response to treatment was evaluated three months after ECT. A long-lasting response was defined as no cutaneous or in-transit relapse after a minimum of six months.

Results: Three months after ECT, a complete response was observed in 29 patients (48.4%), a partial response in 23 patients (38.3%) and no change or progressive disease in 8 patients (13.3%). The objective response rate of all treated lesions was 86.6%. Thirteen patients (44.8% of complete responders) experienced a long-lasting response after one ECT session and were disease-free after a mean duration of follow-up of 27.5 months.

Conclusions: The favorable outcome obtained in the present study demonstrates that ECT is a reliable, and effective procedure that provides long-term benefit in terms of curative and palliative treatment for unresectable cutaneous lesions without adversely impacting the quality of life of patients.
 



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