ELECTROCHEMOTHERAPY: A REVIEW OF ITS USE AND LIMITATIONS IN SMALL ANIMAL ONCOLOGY

Published in AgroLife Scientific Journal, Volume 6, Number 1
Written by Ana Maria GOANȚĂ, Lucian IONIȚĂ

Electrochemotherapy (ECT) is a recent anticancer treatment used for solid tumours in which square wave electric pulses are combined with a chemotherapeutic drug administered either intravenously or intratumourally. The drugs most frequently used in veterinary medicine are bleomycin and cisplatin. Due to the advanced cancer stage in which companion animals are usually diagnosed, treatment with surgery alone is either inefficient or not accepted by the owner, either due to loss of function or cosmetic effect. This is where multimodal therapies come in, by combining surgery with chemotherapy, radiation therapy and other therapies. Unfortunately, these are currently not available in our country or are cost-prohibitive. The only major disadvantage of ECT is the need for general anesthesia, especially when the treatment has to be repeated. This paper reviews 13 articles on ECT in small animal medicine so far in order to establish the method’s current indications, limitations and success rates for different types of cancer. Electrochemotherapy has numerous advantages: it is a simple method, with almost insignificant side effects (muscle contractions during the application of electric pulses and in some cases local edema or necrosis after therapy), it can be applied as single therapy or adjuvant to surgery and can be used for inoperable tumours, it can be repeated several times without being less effective and, last but not least, it is an affordable method. In conclusion, ECT is a welcome addition in the fight against cancer in animals as the incidence of diagnosed malignancy in veterinary medicine is ever rising.

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GOANȚĂ A.M., IONIȚĂ L. 2017, ELECTROCHEMOTHERAPY: A REVIEW OF ITS USE AND LIMITATIONS IN SMALL ANIMAL ONCOLOGY. AgroLife Scientific Journal, Volume 6, Number 1, ISSN 2285-5718, 125-132.


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