Chemotherapy is a tool for killing fast proliferating cells, like most tumor cell lines, by means of therapeutic agents. Since the cell membrane is an efficient barrier for most chemical substances, many anti-cancer agents need to be applied in a high dose in order to reach a lethal level inside the cell. This in turn has implications for non-tumor cells yielding most of the known side effect of chemotherapy. There are perspectives for targeting drugs to the tumor in order to enhance the selectivity of the treatment, e.g. by means of magnetic field, liposomes or aptamers with high binding affinity to special cell lines. Another way is the enhancement of the activity of anticancer agent at the site of a tumor using physical methods. First attempts to enhance chemotherapy by utilizing electric field range back to the end of the eighties of last century. Exploratory experiments by Okino and Mohri showed a drastic concentration increase of anticancer drugs in solid tumors. First clinical trials on head and neck tumors have been performed at 1990 by the group of Lluis Mir in France. Since this time a great development took place, involving many research groups, mostly in Europe and USA, resulting in efficient treatment procedures and commercialized equipment (e.g. Cliniporator, IGEA, Italy) for this purpose.
A New Way for Enhancing Cancer Treatment
Last date updated on June, 2014