Skip to main content

Advertisement

Long-term response after electrochemotherapy in patients with relapsed or refractory cutaneous melanoma

Article metrics

  • 797 Accesses

Background

Treatment of early and multiple cutaneous unresectable recurrences is a major therapeutic problem with around 80% of patients relapsing within 5 years [1]. For lesions refractory to elective treatments, electrochemotherapy (ECT) involving electroporation combined with antineoplastic drug treatment appears to be a new potential option [2]. 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.

Materials and methods

Between January 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 to ECT 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 [37].

References

  1. 1.

    Leon P, Daly J, Synnestvedt M, Schultz DJ, Elder DE, Clark WH: The prognostic implications of microscopic satellites in patients withclinical Stage I melanoma. ArchSurg. 1991, 126: 1461-68.

  2. 2.

    Marty M, Garbay JM, Gehl J: Electrochemotherapy an easy, highly effective and safe treatment of cutaneous and subcutaneous metastases: results of ESOPE (European Standard Operating Procedures of Electrochemotherapy) study. Eur J Cancer. 2006, 4: 3-13.

  3. 3.

    Sersa G, Miklavcic D, Cemazar M, Rudolf Z, Pucihar G, Snoj M: Electrochemotherapy in treatment of tumors. Eur J SurgOncol. 2007, 34: 232-40.

  4. 4.

    Quaglino P, Mortera C, Osella-Abate S: Electrochemotherapy with intravenous bleomycin in the local treatment of skin melanoma metastases. Ann Surg Oncol. 2008, 15: 2215-22. 10.1245/s10434-008-9976-0.

  5. 5.

    Sersa G, Stabuc B, Cemazar M, Miklavcic D, Rudolf Z: Electrochemotherapy with cisplatin: systemic antitumor effectiveness of cisplatin can be potentiated locally by the application of electric pulses in the treatment of malignant melanoma skin metastases. Melanoma Res. 2000, 10: 381-85. 10.1097/00008390-200008000-00010.

  6. 6.

    Kaehler KC, Egberts F, Hauschild A: Electrochemotherapy in symptomatic melanoma skin metastases: intraindividual comparison with conventional surgery. Dermatol Surg. 2010, 36: 1200-02. 10.1111/j.1524-4725.2010.01608.x.

  7. 7.

    Mozzillo N, Caracò C, Mori S: Use of neoadjuvantelectrochemotherapy to treat a large metastatic lesion of the cheek in a patient with melanoma. J Transl Med. 2012, 10: 131-10.1186/1479-5876-10-131.

Download references

Author information

Correspondence to Ugo Marone.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Keywords

  • Melanoma
  • Intravenous Injection
  • Bleomycin
  • Melanoma Patient
  • Objective Response Rate