OBJECTIVES: Electrochemotherapy (ECT) is a novel therapeutic option for the treatment of cutaneous and subcutaneous metastases of malignant melanoma. During the treatment, electric pulses are applied to tumor nodules to deliver nonpermeant or poorly permeant chemotherapeutic agents into the cells, increasing local cytotoxicity of anticancer drugs. We compared the clinical effectiveness of ECT as an alternative palliative treatment option for unresectable metastatic lesions of malignant melanoma with a systematic review of reported outcomes. METHODS: One hundred fifty-eight cutaneous and subcutaneous metastases of nine patients were treated with ECT. All treatments were performed under general anesthesia using intravenous bleomycin injection. Median follow-up was 195 days. RESULTS: In our case series, complete response rate was 23%, and partial response rate was 39%. We observed no change in 30% and progressive disease in 8% of cases. CONCLUSIONS: ECT is a simple and effective treatment of single or multiple cutaneous and subcutaneous metastases of melanoma with minimal side effects. Our results provide further data for the growing body of evidence in recently published studies that ECT used for palliation has clinical benefit.
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