• Open Access

Electrochemotherapy in Veterinary Oncology


Corresponding author: Y. Tamzali, DVM, PhD, Dipl ECEIM, Equine Internal Medicine, Ecole Nationale Vétérinaire, Toulouse, 23 chemin des Capelles, BP87614, 31076 Toulouse Cedex 3, France; e-mail: y.tamzali@envt.fr.


Electropermeabilization is a method that uses electric field pulses to induce an electrically mediated reorganization of the plasma membrane of cells. Electrochemotherapy combines local or systemic administration of chemotherapeutic drugs such as bleomycin or cisplatin that have poor membrane permeability with electropermeabilization by direct application of electric pulses to the tumors. Preclinical studies have demonstrated excellent antitumor effectiveness of electrochemotherapy on different animal models and various tumor types, minimal toxicity, and safety of the procedure. Based on results of preclinical studies, clinical studies were conducted in human patients, which demonstrated pronounced antitumor effectiveness of electrochemotherapy with 80–85% objective responses of the treated cutaneous and SC tumors. Clinical studies in veterinary oncology have demonstrated that electrochemotherapy is very effective in the treatment of cutaneous and SC tumors of different histologic types in cats, dogs, and horses. The results of these studies have also demonstrated approximately 80% long-lasting objective responses of tumors treated by electrochemotherapy. Primary tumors of different histologic types were treated. Electrochemotherapy in veterinary oncology has future promise to be highly effective, and could be used to treat primary or recurrent solitary or multiple cutaneous and SC tumors of different histology or as an adjuvant treatment to surgery.