Electrochemotherapy is used to treat cancers that have spread to the skin or just below the skin’s surface (metastasised) from breast cancer recurrence.
It is a treatment combining a low dose of a chemotherapy drug and an electrical pulse (electroporation) applied directly to the cancer cells using an electrode. This low level dose of chemotherapy drug is not normally effective against the cancer, as it is difficult to get inside the cells. When the electric pulse is applied, the cells form pores allowing the drug to enter and be active against the cancer.
Electrochemotherapy has the advantage of preserving healthy tissue when compared to other treatment options. It can also be used to shrink large cancers making them easier to remove surgically.
It has been well established as a technology and has now been approved by the National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE, UK) as a standard of care.
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