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Electrochemotherapy for Chest Wall Recurrence af Breast Cancer: Present Challenges and Future Prospects.

Phase 2
18 Years
Open (Enrolling)
Breast Cancer

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Trial Information

Electrochemotherapy for Chest Wall Recurrence af Breast Cancer: Present Challenges and Future Prospects.

Electrochemotherapy for chest wall recurrence of breast cancer. MD, Ph.D. student, Louise
Wichmann Matthiessen, has been employed in 2008 to perform this study. She plans to complete
her training as specialist in clinical oncology subsequently, and will thus be able to
follow up the work after completion of her Ph.D. The study aims at giving palliation to
patients who are suffering from painful, ulcerated metastases to the chest wall in a
situation where other treatments have failed.

Inclusion criteria: Chest wall recurrence of breast cancer; all other modalities have failed
or patients does not wish to receive them (e.g. chemotherapy); symptomatic relief is needed;
WHO performance status 0-2; normal coagulation parameters, normal kidney and renal function;
written, informed consent. Lesions totalling over 3 cm in diameter. Patient recruitment: 28
patients are to be recruited.

Treatment: Patients will be treated in general anesthesia (inhaling max. 30 % oxygen), and a
standard dose of bleomycin (15.000 IU/ m2) will be given intravenously. Electric pulses will
be administered using a square wave electroporator (IGEA, Carpi, Italy). Needle and plate
electrodes are used in order to treat the affected area efficiently. Eight pulses at a
frequency of 5 kHz will be used for each application of the electrodes. In this way, a large
area can be treated within a short time. Post treatment, the area will be covered by dry
dressings, as are standardly used.

The patients will be seen at 2, 4, and 8 weeks post treatment, and re-treatment can be
administered up to three times in case there are areas which have not been insufficiently
treated in the first round. Lung function will be followed by measurement of DLCO (carbon
monoxide diffusion capacity).

The patients will furthermore be followed up to 1 year after treatment in monthly intervals,
and after 1 year on a yearly basis for up to 5 years.

Evaluation: Evaluation is performed by a) measurement of lesion extension and digital
photography, b) development of a mapping system: Chest wall recurrences are frequently a
confluent mass of tumor with varying depth. Precise mapping of treatment areas and effect is
warranted. To this end, a system combining a fixed point (e.g. small ink tattoo, as used in
radiotherapy planning) with novel imaging techniques using the 3D computer tomography (CT)
planning system employed for radiotherapy, is envisaged. Furthermore, PET-Dual Time Point
scanning combined with CT scanning is being investigated as treatment evaluation.

Safety: Safety will be reported both in terms of evaluation of adverse events and in terms
of patient satisfaction determined by questionnaire, including the 'Derriford Appearance

Inclusion Criteria:

- Age ≥ 18

- Histological proven cancer of the breast.

- Progressive and/or metastatic disease.

- No further standard treatment for the patient available or the patient does not wish
to receive the offered standard treatment.

- If Endocrine therapy: Progression in cutaneous lesions.

- If treatment with trastuzumab (Herceptin)can continue this treatment if there is no
regression in cutaneous lesions.

- At least 2 weeks since last chemotherapy, patients treated with Navelbine
(Vinorelbine), Capecitabin (Xeloda) or weekly Paclitaxel (Taxol)can continue this
treatment if there is no regression in cutaneous metastases.

- Malignant cutaneous or subcutaneous lesion to be treated ≥ 3 cm.

- WHO performance ≤ 2.

- Life expectancy of at least 3 months.

- Platelets ≥ 50 mia/l, pp ≥ 40, APTT in normal area. Medical correction is allowed.

- Sexual active men and women must use safe anticonceptive during and up to 6 month
after last treatment.

- Written informed consent must be obtained according to the local Ethics committee

Exclusion Criteria:

- Acute lung infection

- Previous bleomycin treatment exceeding 200.000 Units/m2.

- Known hypersensitivity to any of the components of the treatment.

- Known hypersensitivity to any of the components used in the planned anesthesia.

- Pregnant or lactating women. In fertile women this is ensured by measuring HCG in

- Treatment with granulocyte colony stimulating factor (G-CSF) or other cytokines.

Type of Study:


Study Design:

Allocation: Non-Randomized, Endpoint Classification: Safety/Efficacy Study, Intervention Model: Single Group Assignment, Masking: Open Label, Primary Purpose: Treatment

Outcome Measure:

Digital Photography evaluated according to Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors (RECIST) guidelines

Outcome Time Frame:

up to one year

Safety Issue:


Principal Investigator

Julie Gehl, M.D.

Investigator Role:

Principal Investigator

Investigator Affiliation:

Department of Oncology, Copenhagen University Hospital at Herlev


Denmark: Københavns Universitetshospitals GCP-enhed

Study ID:




Start Date:

August 2008

Completion Date:

February 2011

Related Keywords:

  • Breast Cancer
  • Breast Cancer
  • Recurrence
  • Breast Neoplasms
  • Recurrence