What is Electrochemotherapy?

Electrochemotherapy is a localized treatment that requires giving a very low dosage of a chemotherapy drug.  Injection of the drug is combined with local application of electric pulses that increases the drugs effect.

When is Electrochemotherapy used?

Electrochemotherapy is a safe, simple, and effective procedure to treat tumors including Melanoma, Mast Cell Tumors, Prostate Tumors, Brain Tumors, Soft Tissue Sarcomas, Fibrosarcomas, Perianal Tumors and Anal Sac Carcinomas. It is particularly useful for lesions that cannot be removed with surgery, or have proven resistant to chemotherapy or radiotherapy.

How is Electrochemotherapy given?

While your pet is under a brief sedation, we will administer the chemotherapy drug, bleomycin or Cisplatin, directly into the tumor.  Following this chemotherapy administration, the applicator, which consists of a number of small needles on a round disc, will be inserted in the same lesion.  When it is turned on, a small electrical current is released throughout the immediate area.  This current will open up the cells and allow the chemotherapy drug to enter them, thus causing destruction of the lesion.

What can be expected after Electrochemotherapy?

Following the procedure the lesions may be covered with a bandage to aid in comfort.  An e-collar may be needed to prevent your pet from licking or chewing.
Lesions may turn black, scab, and may look worse before seeing improvement.  This is a normal and expected reaction.
Your pet may experience a feeling of warmth around the site of Electrochemotherapy for up to two weeks after the procedure.
When the lesions have healed, the skin may be left with darker or lighter pigmentation.

Are there any possible side effects of Electrochemotherapy?

The lesions of interest are often sensitive areas for the pet already and a mild pain medication may be necessary for a few days after the procedure.
In rare circumstances the lesion could become infected and require antibiotic treatment.
As with any drug, there is always a rare chance for an allergic reaction.

Frequently Asked Questions