SENNEX® ElectroChemoTherapy is a new and efficient method to deliver chemotherapy to cancer tumours. In the therapy, small electric impulses are given at the site of the tumour; hence the name ‘electro’-chemotherapy.
SENNEX® (ECT) treats the tumour locally, i.e. at the tumour site. After injecting the chemotherapeutic drug (medicine) either through I.V. or locally at the tumour site, eight quick electric impulses are given at tumour site with the help of the SENNEX® device. The electric impulses create very small (nano) pores in the tumour cell-membranes. These pores are temporary in nature. They render the tumour cell-membranes transiently porous, resulting is vastly improved penetration of the chemotherapeutic drug. When electric impulses stop, the pores close and the drug gets trapped inside the cell.
Once inside a cancer cell, the chemotherapeutic drug brings about cell death . As a result, the tumour gets controlled i.e. it either disappears totally or reduces in size. ECT also helps to stop/reduce oozing and bleeding from the tumour. It delivers considerable tumour pain reduction, giving great relief to the patient. All this can also help to improve functions like eating/swallowing/breathing in case of head and neck cancer tumours.
SENNEX® ECT can be done in a ‘Minor Operation Theatre’ or a ‘Treatment Room’. It is normally done under local anaesthesia. Only in case of large tumours general anaesthesia may be required. The patient may be sedated if thought necessary.
Local anaesthesia ensures that the patient does not feel any pain during the procedure. Post the procedure, there may be minor pain which is easily controlled with routine painkillers.
One session of SENNEX® ECT requires 20 to 30 minutes. The patient can go home in 3 to 4 hours. Results can be seen in 2 days. Within 2-3 days many patients experience pain relief, at times to the tune of 90%. Oozing and bleeding also reduces/stops gradually. It takes 2 to 4 weeks for tumour regression to be seen. Things can keep improving up to 10 weeks.
In case of tumours which are visible from the outside, drying and healing process of the tumour can be seen. One can notice the reduction in size or total disappearance of the tumour.
Patients are required to come for a few follow-up visits. This procedure can be repeated if the doctor finds it necessary to do so.
Very small dosage of chemotherapy medicine is used in SENNEX® ECT compared to traditional chemotherapy (usual chemotherapy). Due to this, drug side-effects are negligible, almost nil in many cases. However side-effects cannot be ruled out completely. Also, doctor may be required to take certain precautions if the tumour is located close to sensitive areas such as arteries or the heart.
Bleomycin and Cisplatin are the two drug usually used for ElectroChemoTherapy. It helps to test for Bleomycin allergy, though chances of allergy to Bleomycin are rare. In place of Bleomycin, Cisplatin can also be used (injected locally) for SENNEX® ECT. The choice of drug is the doctor’s decision.