Electrochemotherapy for large cutaneous recurrence of breast cancer: A phase II clinical trial
Matthiessen, L. W., Johannesen, H. H., Hendel, H. W., Moss, T., Kamby , C. and Gehl, J. (2012) Electrochemotherapy for large cutaneous recurrence of breast cancer: A phase II clinical trial. Acta Oncologica, 51 (6). pp. 713-721. ISSN 0284-186X
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Publisher's URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.3109/0284186X.2012.685524
Background Cutaneous recurrences of breast cancer may cause considerable discomfort due to ulceration, oozing, and pain and can also be difficult to treat. Electrochemotherapy is a localised anticancer treatment using electric pulses to make cell membranes permeable, augmenting uptake of chemotherapeutic drugs, and thus enabling highly efficient tumour cell kill. This is the first systematic investigation of electrochemotherapy for larger cutaneous recurrences of breast cancer. Patients and methods We conducted a phase II trial for patients with cutaneous recurrences where no further treatment options were available. Primary endpoint was objective response evaluated by clinical examination. Secondary endpoints included response evaluated by PET/CT, change in lung diffusion capacity, patient reported symptoms, and distress related to bodily appearance. Treatment consisted of bleomycin injection followed by application of electric pulses. Results Seventeen heavily pre-treated patients received electrochemotherapy. Twelve patients were evaluable (follow-up > 8 weeks). CT showed four (33%) patients achieving over 50% tumour volume reduction, clinical examination showed one CR and one PR (OR 17%). Symptomatic relief included decreasing exudates, odour, and bleeding. Treatment was well tolerated; the main side-effect was post-treatment pain. Conclusion This first phase II study indicates that electrochemotherapy is a promising treatment alternative for cutaneous recurrences of breast cancer.