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August 20, 2020

Response to Electrochemotherapy in a Patient With Advanced Oropharyngeal Squamous Cell Carcinoma

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery, Regina Elena National Cancer Institute IRCCS, Rome, Italy
  • 2Department of Otolaryngology and Otoneurosurgery, Azienda Ospedaliero-Universitaria di Parma, Parma, Italy
JAMA Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2020;146(12):1178-1179. doi:10.1001/jamaoto.2020.2093

Electrochemotherapy (ECT) is a well-known treatment strategy for treating skin, breast, and melanoma tumors and advanced head and neck cancer. Electrochemotherapy consists of a combination of electroporation of the neoplasm and intravenous infusion of a chemotherapy agent. When an electric field is applied, the cellular membrane becomes more permeable, allowing the chemotherapeutic agent to enter the cell and increasing its efficacy.

During March 2019, a 61-year-old man with a 40 pack-year smoking history presented with dysphagia and drooling. The patient had been treated during June 2013 with transoral robotic resection and ipsilateral neck dissection for a pT3N2b (AJCC Cancer Staging Manual, seventh edition) oropharyngeal p16-negative squamous cell carcinoma of the right tongue base followed by adjuvant chemoradiotherapy (64-Gy intensity modulated radiation therapy plus weekly cisplatinum, 100 mg/m2, 3 intravenous cycles).