Electrochemotherapy (ECT)

Last modified on July 31st, 2018

Electrochemotherapy (ECT)

Electrochemotherapy – or ECT – offers hope to patients with head and neck cancer who have already tried other treatments and still have persistent or recurrent disease.

The treatment which is carried out under a short general anaesthetic usually as a day case procedure, is normally well tolerated and can reduce symptoms and improve quality of life for appropriately selected patients.

ECT combines a low dose of chemotherapy drug and an electrical pulse (electroporation) directly to the cancer cells using an electrode. This low level dose of chemotherapy drug is not normally effective against the cancer, as it is difficult to get inside the cells. However, when the electric pulse is applied, the cells form pores allowing the drug to enter and be active against the cancer.

For some patients ECT can be really effective at controlling the cancer and so offers hope to patients.

Head + Neck Surgery London are experienced at safely delivering ECT and are pleased to be able to offer ECT to help improve symptoms and quality of life for patients with advanced or recurrent head and neck cancer.