Main container

The first 18 patients in the world operated at the Rizzoli in Bologna with the innovative technique for the cure of bone metastases

10 May 2011

13 females and 5 males, ranging from 37 to 86 years of age, with bone metastases were treated by electroporation, a technique developed at the Rizzoli Orthopaedic Institute in Bologna in collaboration with IGEA, the firm that produces the necessary equipment for treatment, with funding from the Carisbo Foundation:  electrodes inserted in altered tissue form a small electric field that “opens”  the cellular membrane pores thus allowing the antitumor drug to reach tumor cells directly and with enhanced efficacy.
From the left: Mario Mercuri MD (unexpectedly died a few days ago), Milena Fini MD, Roberto Giardino MD

Patients were not affected by the undesired effects of chemotherapy and were dismissed the following day. This is a mini-invasive technique performed in spinal or general anaesthesia depending on where the metastases are located, the patient’s general conditions, and Ct-guided for very small lesions.

“Electroporation can be performed also on “rebel” metastases, that is those that do not respond to any other type of therapy which are intensely painful and not even opiates can soothe – explains Milena Fini, coordinator of the Laboratory of  Pre-clinical and Surgical Studies at the Rizzoli, who conducted the study together with Roberto Giardino and a team of orthopaedic surgeons from the Institute: Mario Mercuri, Director of the IV Orthopaedic and Traumatologic Clinic prevalently oncologic, who unexpectedly died a few days ago, together with Giuseppe Bianchi and Laura Campanacci, with Stefano Boriani, Director of the Oncologic and Degenerative Spine Surgery Unit and Marco Alberghini, responsible for the Surgical Pathology Unit. – “Electroporation does not replace other anticancer therapies, because the method is not applicable to all patients. Each case must be evaluated individually, considering the number of metastases, their location and size. We are drafting guidelines so the technique may be performed in other Centers.”

Electroporation is used in about 80 centers in 16 European countries for the treatment of skin and subcutaneous metastases; the Bologna research group is the first to use it on bone metastases, also when adjacent to “noble” structures like vessels and nerves, presently it is used principally on the limbs and pelvis.

Thrusday May 11th, at the Rizzoli Orthopaedic Institute in Bologna (Aula Magna, Centro di Ricerca, via di Barbiano 1/10, at 2 pm) together with the clinical results obtained, epidemiology and complications from bone metastases will also be presented (Piero Picci). The first Italian work group on the use of electroporation on bone metastases will be present.

The Scientific Director of the Rizzoli Institute Francesco Antonio Manzoli, will attend highlighting this as a further example of how Translational Research is conducted at the Institute accompanied by the Scientific Director of the IRST – Romagna Scientific Institute for the Study and Treatment of Tumors in Meldola, Dino Amadori.

Coordinated by Prof. Mario Mercuri from the Rizzoli, the group worked jointly with other Emilia-Romagna Regional structures, besides the Meldola IRST, as well as with other Italian Institutions amongst which the Pascale Cancer Institute in Naples.

You might also be interested in

Un libro del XV secolo dalla mostra "Libri vestiti"
"Books in clothes" exhibition
Bindings of 15th century medical books on display at the Library until 20 December 2022
Read more
The "Mazzolani Vandini" hospital in Argenta (FE)
The Rizzoli Orthopaedic Institute in Argenta
The activity of the Rizzoli Orthopaedic and Rehabilitation Centre at Argenta Hospital has started
Read more
Rizzoli-Sicilia Department
Renewed for ten years the agreement between the Emilia-Romagna Region and the Sicilian Region for the Rizzoli-Sicilia Department
Read more