Article open access publication

Updated standard operating procedures for electrochemotherapy of cutaneous tumours and skin metastases

Acta Oncologica, Taylor & Francis, ISSN 1651-226X

Volume 57, 7, 2018

DOI:10.1080/0284186x.2018.1454602, Dimensions: pub.1101760310, PMID: 29577784,



  1. (1) Zealand University Hospital, grid.476266.7, Zealand Region
  2. (2) University of Copenhagen, grid.5254.6, KU
  3. (3) Institute of Oncology Ljubljana, grid.418872.0
  4. (4) James Cook University Hospital, grid.411812.f
  5. (5) University College Cork, grid.7872.a
  6. (6) Policlinico San Matteo Fondazione, grid.419425.f
  7. (7) University of Turin, grid.7605.4
  8. (8) Sapienza University of Rome, grid.7841.a
  9. (9) Department of Surgery Oncology and Gastroenterology (DISCOG), University of Padova, Padova, Italy; ; Surgical Oncology Unit, Veneto Institute of Oncology IRCCS, Padova, Italy;
  10. (10) University of Padua, grid.5608.b
  11. (11) Department of Dermatologic Surgery and Dermatology, Artemed Fachklinik München, Munich, Germany; ; Department of Dermatology and Allergology, Ludwig-Maximillian University, Munich, Germany;,
  12. (12) Cork University Hospital, grid.411916.a
  13. (13) Portuguese Oncology Institute, grid.418711.a
  14. (14) St George’s University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, grid.451349.e
  15. (15) Department of Plastic Surgery, Herlev and Gentofte Hospital, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark;
  16. (16) Institut Gustave Roussy, grid.14925.3b


Electrochemotherapy is now in routine clinical use to treat cutaneous metastases of any histology, and is listed in national and international guidelines for cutaneous metastases and primary skin cancer. Electrochemotherapy is used by dermatologists, surgeons, and oncologists, and for different degrees and manifestations of metastases to skin and primary skin tumours not amenable to surgery. This treatment utilises electric pulses to permeabilize cell membranes in tumours, thus allowing a dramatic increase of the cytotoxicity of anti-cancer agents. Response rates, often after only one treatment, are very high across all tumour types. The most frequent indications are cutaneous metastases from malignant melanoma and breast cancer. In 2006, standard operating procedures (SOPs) were written for this novel technology, greatly facilitating introduction and dissemination of the therapy. Since then considerable experience has been obtained treating a wider range of tumour histologies and increasing size of tumours which was not originally thought possible. A pan-European expert panel drawn from a range of disciplines from dermatology, general surgery, head and neck surgery, plastic surgery, and oncology met to form a consensus opinion to update the SOPs based on the experience obtained. This paper contains these updated recommendations for indications for electrochemotherapy, pre-treatment information and evaluation, treatment choices, as well as follow-up.

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Times Cited: 78

Field Citation Ratio (FCR): 46.8

Relative Citation ratio (RCR): 11

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