Content » Vol 99, Issue 13

Clinical Report

Electrochemotherapy in Skin Malignancies of Head and Neck Cancer Patients: Clinical Efficacy and Aesthetic Benefits

Antonio Bonadies, Ettore Bertozzi, Renzo Cristiani, Flavio A. Govoni, Emilia Migliano
DOI: 10.2340/00015555-3341


Skin malignancies of the head and neck inflict significant structural, functional, and cosmetic burdens upon those affected. We retrospectively addressed electrochemotherapy anti-tumour efficacy in head and neck skin cancer patients who were not suitable for standard treatments. Scars' physical characteristics and aesthetics were evaluated using validated scar assessment scales. Among 33 treated patients, 82% experienced a complete tumour response while 18% experienced a partial response. At a median time period of 7 months, 96% of the evaluated scars came close to resembling the normal surrounding skin showing excellent results in terms of restoration to original condition with no deformity and/or distortion and in terms of preservation of functionality, such as oral competence and eye protection. Electrochemotherapy is an effective local anticancer procedure for cutaneous tumours. In the treatment of skin malignancies of the head and neck, especially in non-surgical cases, in the elderly and in patients declining surgery, electrochemotherapy may represent a valid alternative to standard management.


The main goal of skin cancer treatments is to eradicate the tumour with the safest method providing an aesthetically and functionally pleasant outcome. Electrochemotherapy is a minimal-invasive local tumour ablation procedure for cutaneous metastases. This study found that in head and neck skin cancer patients treated with electrochemotherapy, after tumour clearance and wound healing, most of the assessed scars showed physical and aesthetic characteristics very similar to those of normal surrounding area. These results suggest that in the management of head and neck skin cancer, electrochemotherapy may represent a valid alternative to traditional techniques when such techniques are not suitable.

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