Electrochemotherapy (ECT) is employed in veterinary oncology around the world. In 2015, more than 4,000 animals were treated with ECT.
In veterinary medicine, the same protocol used in human medicine is employed (concentrations of cisplatin or bleomycin, application of electric pulses, etc.). However, general anesthesia is mandatory for animals.
Animals may develop local side effects, such as edema, necrosis, and require follow-up visits every two weeks during the recovery period.
However, necrosis does not provoke scratching like an infected wound, and animals treated with ECT show no decrease in their overall condition. Healthy scar tissue gradually replaces the tumor lesion. This healing by secondary intention can last up to several weeks.
ECT can be used alone, in one or more sessions.
It can also be used as adjuvant treatment. In addition to surgery or radiation therapy, ECT’s efficacy is maintained because the rate of cell proliferation is high in these cases. There is therefore no risk of slowing down recovery.
Electrochemotherapy in veterinary medicine was described in more than 60 publications, for treatment of sarcoid, melanoma, fibrosarcoma, mast cell tumor, perianal tumor, soft-tissue sarcoma, … Some examples:
> For squamous cell carcinoma tumors in cats, a 87.5% complete response is obtained (Tozon, 2014).
> In the case of perianal tumors in dogs, a recurrence-free-rate of 87.9% is achieved (Tozon, 2010).
Photo : Dr. Fabien RELAVE DMV, DACVS, DECVS – Clinique Equine de Conques, Saint Aubin de Branne, FRANCE