Electrochemotherapy is a recently developed technique for the treatment of cutaneous and subcutaneous tumors. It can be used on both animals and humans.
In the 1980’s, specific electrical conditions that increase membrane cell permeability in vitro were defined, and the concept of “electroporation” was born. This new approach was developed and with the improved effectiveness of certain chemotherapeutic agents, by 1991 electroporation was validated in early clinical studies in human and veterinary medicine (Mir et al. 1991).
Thanks to the 2006 ESOPE project (European Standard Operating Procedures of Electrochemotherapy) for use on humans, the technique of electrochemotherapy was standardized (Mir et al. 2006); our devices adhere strictly to these measures.
What is electrochemotherapy? In 2 minutes, this video explains everything you need to know about electrochemotherapy: principles of treatment, conduct of a session, success rate, etc.
A simple treatment that requires just three steps
General anesthesia to ensure security of patient and practitioner.
Intratumoral or intravenous injection of cisplatin (1 mg/ml) or bleomycin (1,000 IU/ml).
8 pulses of 100 µs every 2 ms (ESOPE standard protocol 2006).
Delivery, either systemically or locally, of non-permeant or low-permeant cytotoxic drugs that will surround the cell.
High-intensity electric fields temporarily destabilize the membrane, making cells permeable to the surrounding anticancer drugs.
When the field is turned off, the pores in the membrane reseal, enclosing drugs inside.
Electroporation (or electropermeation) is the delivery of electric pulses to cells under specific conditions.
Electric pulses, whose duration and amplitude are defined, preserves the viability of cells by creating membrane permeability from a few minutes to a few hours.
It is a dynamic phenomenon and depends on local transmembrane voltage at each point of the cell membrane. For a pre-defined period and form of pulse, a specific transmembrane voltage threshold is required to cause electroporation, and the phenomenon will occur only in cells where the threshold is exceeded.
This technique is commonly used in molecular biology as a routine means of introducing substances into cells, such as molecule-altering cell functions or particle encoding DNA, also called cell transfection.