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Electrochemotherapy in combination with chemoradiotherapy in the treatment of oral carcinomas in advanced stages of disease: efficacy, safety, and clinical outcomes in a small number of selected cases

Authors Domanico R, Trapasso S, Santoro M, Pingitore D, Allegra E

Received 14 October 2014

Accepted for publication 4 December 2014

Published 19 February 2015 Volume 2015:9 Pages 1185—1191


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Professor Shu-Feng Zhou

Rossana Domanico,1 Serena Trapasso,1 Mariaquila Santoro,2 Domenico Pingitore,2 Eugenia Allegra1

1Division of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery, Department of Medical and Surgical Sciences, University Magna Graecia of Catanzaro, Catanzaro, Italy; 2Division of Radiation Oncology and Radiobiology, Department of Hematology, Oncology and Transfusion Medicine, Pugliese–Ciaccio Hospital, Catanzaro, Italy

Introduction: Electrochemotherapy (ECT) is a new therapeutic method that is used in oncology as palliative treatment in patients with recurrent head and neck tumors and who are not candidates for standard therapeutic options. The aim of our study was to evaluate the cytoreductive effect of ECT in patients subjected to chemoradiotherapy for squamous cell carcinoma of the oral cavity. The primary endpoint of the study was to verify tumor debulking after ECT treatment as neoadjuvant, before conventional chemoradiotherapy. The secondary endpoint was to assess the safety and tolerability of ECT treatment.
Materials and methods: This experimental study was conducted at the Division of Otolaryngology, University of Catanzaro, Italy. From February 2013 to February 2014, four patients were enrolled, two males and two females, with a mean age of 56 years (range: 47–65 years), and with squamous cell carcinoma of the oral cavity in advanced stages of disease (T3–T4). All patients, with their informed consent, received ECT treatment in accordance with the Standard Operating Procedures defined in the European Standard Operating Procedures on Electrochemotherapy (ESOPE) study, followed by conventional chemoradiotherapy. Their response to ECT treatment was assessed after 30 days. For each patient, the following parameters were evaluated with the appropriate forms: local tumor control, control of pain (analgesia postsurgery scale [APS]), and quality of life (Short Form [36] Health Survey [SF-36]; v1).
Results: Three of four patients (75%) showed a partial response, whereas in one patient (25%), the disease remained stable. The treatment was well-tolerated by all patients, according to the APS and SF-36 results.
Conclusion: Although the study was conducted on a small number of cases, data from this study show that ECT represents a safe and effective treatment in terms of tumor cytoreduction and locoregional control of the disease. It also allows good control of postoperative pain and short hospitalization.

Keywords: neoadjuvant treatment, squamous cell carcinoma, oral cavity

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