BACKGROUND: Due to the advanced oncological treatments of cancer, an overall increase in cancer incidence, and better diagnostic tools, the incidence of brain metastases is on the rise. This review addresses the current treatment options for patients with multiple brain metastases, presenting electrochemotherapy (ECT) as one of the new experimental treatments for this group of patients. CONCLUSIONS: Neurosurgery, stereotactic surgery, and whole-brain radiotherapy are the evidence-based treatments that can be applied for patients with multiple brain metastases. Treatment with chemotherapy and molecularly targeted agents may also be warranted. Several experimental treatments are emerging, one of which is ECT, an effective cancer treatment comprising electric pulses given by electrodes in the tumor tissue, causing electroporation of the cell membrane, and thereby augmenting uptake and the cytotoxicity of the chemotherapeutic drug bleomycin by 300 times. Preclinical data are promising and the first patient has been treated in an ongoing clinical trial for patients with brain metastases. Perspectives for ECT in the brain include treatment of primary and secondary brain tumors as well as soft tissue metastases elsewhere.
Radiology and Oncology, 2012, Vol 46, Issue 4, p. 271-8