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Vetiqures’ parent company Scandinavian ChemoTech has developed a patented technology platform TSE (Tumour Specific Electroporation) which involves treating superficial tumours with electrical impulses along with small doses of chemotherapy, which enhances the effect of the drug. By affecting the tumour cells with 5 kHz pulsating electric fields, channels are formed in the cells’ plasma membranes, which increases the passage of cytotoxic drugs into the tumour cells. Cytostatics, which is inactive outside the tumour cells, enters the cell interior via the opened channels and then breaks down the cell DNA effectively killing the tumour cells.

TSE also makes it possible to treat non-responsive tumours and tumours in sensitive locations. Vetiqure is now making this treatment available for animals.

vetIQure™ – TSE (Tumour Specific Electroporation)

TSE has mainly been used for treating solid and superficial malignant tumours. By subjecting the tumour cells to pulsating electrical fields, channels are formed in the cell membrane, which improves the uptake of cytotoxic drugs into the tumour cells.

Unique advantages for vetIQure™ and the TSE technology:

  • The first hand-carried portable electroporation device for electrochemotherapy
  • Clinically approved and verified for use on humans with minimal side-effects
  • Dynamic pulse reduces the risk of irreversible electroporation and ablation of tissue
  • Pulses delivered in multiple directions to minimise the risk of untreated areas
  • Specific treatment modes for oral tumours
  • Improves the response rate on larger tumours (> 3 cm)
  • The treatment will enable cells resistent to radiation therapy to become susceptible to radiation again
  • Sterile single-use electrodes for increased safety and improved treatment outcome

Advantages of the single-use electrodes

  • CE marked
  • Sterile package to decrease the risk of infections
  • Due to their single-use they are always sharp and easy to insert into the tissue every time
  • The application of new electrodes ensures that they will always be straight maintaining a consistent and correct tip distance, thus providing a more precise electric field for each treatment

What forms of cancer can be treated with vetIQure™?

The current standard protocol for electrochemotherapy was established in 2006 by the ESOPE study (European Standard Operating Procedures of Electrochemotherapy) and has been deemed safe for use on humans and animals. For the veterinary side there is a specific operating procedure (SOP) of electrochemotherapy defined in JoVE (Journal of Visualized Experiments) giving instructions for the use of cisplatin and bleomycin in combination with the application of electric pulses in order to safely and appropriately treat cutaneous and subcutaneous tumors in dogs and cats. This specific procedure has been validated on more than 80 dogs and 20 cats.

Powerful treatment enhances the effects of the electroporation

The vetIQure™ system enhances the effects of the electroporation by opening up small pores in the tumour cells, giving the injected chemotherapeutic substance 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 vetIQure™ dynamic feature is designed to maximise this effect. A significant advantage of treating animals with tumour specific electroporation is that the treatment can be performed on an outpatient basis. The active treatment with vetIQure™ takes up to 20 minutes and the whole treatment, including preparation, does not usually last longer than 45 minutes and the patient can go home the same day. This means that the treatment is very cost effective for the pet owners and the insurance companies. Additionally, vetIQure™  has a handheld and easily portable design and weighs only about 6-7 kg. This makes it ideal to transport in-between and around the veterinary hospitals and/or smaller clinics.

Function

With vetIQure™, traditional electroporation is combined with a dynamic and multi-directional electric field improving the current coverage throughout the treated tissue. With its IQ calibration system, vetIQure™ 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 tumour database veterinarians will, in the near future, be able to exchange general treatment data with other veterinarians. By using the latest technology and components, vetIQure™ is designed to be both portable and light weight for easy transport and storage.

Multi-dimensional treatment and tumour-adapted distribution of the dynamic electrical field

Tumour Specific Electroporation (TSE) with a dynamic and multi-directional pulse to minimize risks of irreversible electroporation, unintentional ablation of tissue and untreated tissue areas. vetIQure™ can also treat with different diameters, depending on the size of the treatment area.

The four phases of electrochemotherapy

Phase 1 – Cytostatic administration
When using electroporation to enhance the effects of cystostatics the therapy begins by administering cytotoxic drugs to the patient. Cytostatics, such as Bleomycin, are inefficient outside the tumour cells, which is why the full effect of the  cytostatic drug can only be achieved when the combined with electroporation.

Phase 2 – Treatment with vetIQure™
By treating the tumour cell with vetIQure™, the cell membrane becomes reversibly permeable (formation of small pores and the ability to pass through substances), which allows the cytostatics to penetrate into the cell nucleus. By increasing  the permeability, considerably lower doses of cytostatics are required to achieve a therapeutic effect. The low dose of cytostatics significantly lowers the risk of side effects.

Phase 3 – Cytostatics enclosed in the tumour cell
After each treatment cycle with vetIQure™ the cells reverses to a none-permeable state. This means that the cytostatic molecules becomes trapped inside the tumour cell.

Phase 4 – Cell death and immunological effect
The three significant effects of this therapy are:

  1. The cell’s DNA is broken down by the cytostatics
  2. The capillaries coagulate, which makes the cells starve and die
  3. The activation of the immune system

Products Videos

vetIQure™ Tumour Specific Electroporation - TSE (Dynamic-ElectroEnhanced Chemotherapy™ – D-EECT)

vetIQure™ offers unique treatment benefits:

  • Ability to treat tumours that are hard to reach with traditional electrochemotherapy

  • Ability to treat tumours that are not operable

  • The treatment if always performed under full anesthesia

  • The treatment can be performed on an outpatient basis