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Peritumoral gene electrotransfer of interleukin-12 as an adjuvant immunotherapy to intratumoral electrochemotherapy for murine melanoma treatment

      Background: Combining established therapies with recently discovered immunotherapies is a promising approach for treating malignant melanoma. Our research group has been studying intratumoral electrochemotherapy (a combination of a chemotherapeutic drug and electroporation), which is a well-established therapy in clinics across Europe [1]. Besides local release or exposition of damage-associated molecular patterns and neoantigens, electrochemotherapy with cisplatin, oxaliplatin or bleomycin induces immunogenic cell death [2, 3]. Although local effectiveness of electrochemotherapy is up to 80 % of local tumor control, no noticeable effects on distant non-treated metastases have been observed [1]. We hypothesized that gene electrotransfer of plasmid encoding for interleukin-12 (IL-12) as an adjuvant immunotherapy, compliments the responses seen with electrochemotherapy on a local and systemic level.
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