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“Results of galvanotherapy with locally limited tumours in the Grönemeyer Institute for Microtherapy”

Sahinbas*H., J. Baier, Grönemeyer D.H.W. University of Witten/Herdecke,
Institute for Radiology and Microtherapy, Bochum, Germany

Introduction: After the introduction of direct current therapy at the end of the 70s and wide clinical use in China since the 80s, this therapy has not won broad acceptance and clinical application beyond isolated use.

It is not only malignant tumours which are no longer operable or suitable for radio or chemotherapy which can be treated with ECT, but also benign tumours. A particularly good example of this is the surprising effectiveness in the treatment of cavernous haemangioma (Xin Yu Ling). Clinical data from China show that the success rate (91%) in treatment of malignant tumours in stages I and II is significantly higher than for tumours in stage III and IV of 64%.

The voltage arising between the electrodes on galvanic current leads to an almost selective destruction of tumour tissue. It offers a new way of destroying tumours in a gentle way. The direct current flowing between two or more electrodes leads to the destruction of tissues through electrolysis. The movement of ions leads to a significant shift in acidity in the tissue: at the anode, the region becomes acidic, at the cathode it is alkaline. The pH values attained are well outside the physiological normal region and so are damaging to tissue. The direct current also leads to a change in the membrane potential through the changes in the electrolyte areas around the cell and in the cell. Important physiological functions like for example the sodium-potassium pump are damaged by this. This then “disables” the tumour tissue. After a few weeks the rejection of the electrically-induced necrosis starts. The loss of material corresponds largely with the extent of the tumour tissue.

Aims: the primary aim of this application was to demonstrate the tolerability of the ECT therapy for patients with locally limited tumours or recurrent tumours following conventional therapy, where a main aim was to show that the median localised tumour control would be extended. 
Patients and Methods: Our retrospective data analysis was carried out between 2004 and 2005 with patients with inoperable tumours, progress after radio or chemotherapy or expressly at the wishes of patients.

15 patients were included in the analysis of our data:

Number of patients: 15

  • (10 patients with invasive electrodes, 5 with surface electrodes)

Number of therapies: Total 44

  • 27 invasive therapies with Tumex needles
  • 17 therapy sessions with flat electrodes

10 Patients invasive:

  • 4 patients with prostate Cancer
  • 1 patient with rectal carcinoma, presacral recurrent
  • 1 patient with aggressive fibromatosis, in the groin
  • 1 patient with jejunal carcinoid, with liver metastases