Electrochemotherapy (ECT) combines short electric pulses with chemotherapy administrated locally or intravenously. ECT therapy makes it possible to deliver drugs to the cell interior. The short, intense electric pulses make the cell membrane transiently permeable, allowing the chemotherapeutic substance to reach the cell DNA. The treatment can be used for cutaneous as well as subcutaneous tumours. Electrochemotherapy has been used to treat patients clinically with drugs such as bleomycin and cisplatin since the beginning of the 1990s. Electrochemotherapy is used in many countries around the world, and to date more than 4,000 patients have been treated using this method.
IQWave™ – the next generation of electrochemotherapy devices
With its effective and flexible treatment capabilities, IQWave™ represents the next generation of electrochemotherapy devices. It has been developed to achieve positive clinical outcomes on a level not previously possible.
The IQWave™ offers unique advantages. The pre-programmed software optimises treatment for different types of tumours while the black panel mode allows for convenient use in operating rooms. The IQWave™ also offers an integrated patient treatment database, making it easy for the physician to monitor patient development. The foldable laptop design makes storage and transport very convenient. IQWave™ is equipped with a calibrating function which creates intelligent guidance for the use of different electrodes and applicators specially designed to make the treatment easier to perform and as effective as possible.
Powerful treatment enhances the effects of the chemotherapeutic substance
The IQWave™ system enhances the effects of the chemotherapeutic substance by opening up small pores in the tumour cells, giving the injected chemotherapeutic substance (no more than 15 IU of bleomycin) direct access to the DNA of the target cells. Combined with the coagulation effect created by the hi-voltage electric field, the cancer cells go into rapid necrosis. In some cases, treatment has shown that correctly adapted dynamic pulses result in a powerful immunotherapeutic effect. The IQWave™ dynamic feature is designed to maximise this effect. Since electrochemotherapy can normally be performed under local anaesthesia and light sedation, it is comparatively painless as well as time-efficient. A complete treatment cycle only takes 15-25 minutes.
The current protocol for electrochemotherapy was established in 2006 through the ESOPE study (European Standard Operating Procedures of Electrochemotherapy). The current indications for electrochemotherapy treatment are:
- Head and neck squamous cell carcinoma
- Malignant melanoma
- Basal cell carcinoma
- Adenocarcinoma of the breast and salivary gland
- Kaposi sarcoma
- Transitional cell carcinoma
With IQWave™, traditional electrochemotherapy is combined with multi-directional electric fields that improve the current coverage throughout the tissue being treated. With its IQ calibration system, the IQWave™ enables treatment using applicators of different sizes; a technology that offers the unique possibility to treat tumours in hard to reach places such as the oral cavity and tongue base.
Thanks to its integrated patient records physicians will, in the near future, be able to exchange general treatment data with other physicians. By using the latest technology and components, IQWave™ is designed to be both portable and light for easy transport and storage.