A prototype of a flexible grid electrode to treat widespread superficial tumors by means of Electrochemotherapy

Luca G. Campana, Fabrizio Dughiero, Michele Forzan, Carlo R. Rossi, Elisabetta Sieni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background. In recent years, superficial chest wall recurrence from breast cancer can be effectively treated by means of electrochemotherapy, with the majority of patients achieving response to treatment. Nevertheless, tumor spread along superficial lymphatic vessels makes this peculiar type of tumor recurrence prone to involve large skin areas and difficult to treat. In these cases, electroporation with standard, small size needle electrodes can be time-consuming and produce an inhomogeneous coverage of the target area, ultimately resulting in patient under treatment. Materials and methods. Authors designed and developed a prototype of a flexible grid electrode aimed at the treatment of large skin surfaces and manufactured a connection box to link the pulse applicator to a voltage pulse generator. Laboratory tests on potato tissue were performed in order to evaluate the electroporation effect, which was evaluated by observing color change of treated tissue. Results. A device has been designed in order to treat chest wall recurrences from breast cancer. According to preliminary tests, the new flexible support of the electrode allows the adaptability to the surface to be treated. Moreover, the designed devices can be useful to treat a larger surface in 2-5 minutes. Conclusions. Authors developed the prototype of a new pulse applicator aimed at the treatment of widespread superficial tumors. This flexible grid needle electrode was successfully tested on potato tissue and produced an electroporation effect. From a clinical point of view, the development of this device may shorten electrochemotherapy procedure thus allowing clinicians to administer electric pulses at the time of maximum tumor exposure to drugs. Moreover, since the treatment time is 2-5 min long, it could also reduce the time of anesthesia, thus improving patient recovery.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)49-57
Number of pages9
JournalRadiology and Oncology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1 2016


  • breast cancer recurrence
  • electrochemotherapy
  • electrode
  • flexible support

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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