1046P - Electrochemotherapy (ECT) with bleomycin as a palliative treatment of regional relapse in head and neck cancer (H&NC) patients (pts). A pilot study

Date 01 October 2012
Event ESMO Congress 2012
Session Poster presentation III
Topics Palliative Care
Head and Neck Cancers
Presenter Juan Grau
Authors J.J. Grau1, M. Caballero2, A. Vilalta3, I. Victoria4, O. Reig4, C. Carrera3, P. Gascon4, J. Malvehy3
  • 1Hospital Clinic y Provincial de Barcelona, 08036 - Barcelona/ES
  • 2Head And Neck Department, Hospital Clinic Barcelona, 08036 - Barcelona/ES
  • 3Dermatology, Hospital Clinic Barcelona, 08036 - Barcelona/ES
  • 4Medical Oncology, Hospital Clinic y Provincial de Barcelona, 08036 - Barcelona/ES



ECT is the administration of electrical pulses in the tumour during perfusion of chemotherapy allowing the introduction of the drug in neoplastic cell. H&N regional relapse no suitable for local or systemic treatment has a median survival of 3 months causing local pain and anxiety to the pts. We prospecively analysed antitumoral activity of ECT in regional relapse of H&NC not suitable for other therapies.


Pts with local-regional relapse of H&NC from mucosa (squamous carcinoma), thyroid gland, salivary gland, cutaneous squamous or cutaneous melanoma were included. Other inclusion criteria were good general condition, no history of reaction to Bleomycin, life spectancy of 3 or more months and no possibility of salvage local surgery. All pts were previously treated with local radiation and systemic chemotherapy.


Between 2009-2011, 26 ECT courses were performed in 18 consecutive pts with local relapse of squamous H&NC n = 7(39%); malignant melanoma n = 6(33%);thyroid carcinoma n = 4(22%); or parotid carcinoma n = 1(6%). Objective responses were: complete n = 3(17%); partial n = 11(61%); complete plus partial n = 14(78%); or no response n = 4(22%). The median follow-up was 12 moths, time to progression was 6 months and overall survival was 9 months for all the pts. All responding pts had a reduction of local pain and anxiety. Mild local pain for few days and skin necrosis were the only side effects.


ECT has a high antitumoral activity in regional relapse of H&NC of different histologies. This local therapy may have a place in the future as palliative treatment of H&NC.


All authors have declared no conflicts of interest.