Reversible electropermeabilization (RE) is an ultrastructural phenomenon that transiently increases the permeability of the cell membrane upon application of electrical pulses. The technique was described in 1972 by Neumann and Rosenheck and is currently used in a variety of applications, from medicine to food processing. In oncology, RE is applied for the intracellular transport of chemotherapeutic drugs as well as the delivery of genetic material in gene therapies and vaccinations. This review summarizes the physical changes of the membrane, the particularities of bleomycin, and the immunological aspects involved in electrochemotherapy and gene electrotransfer, two important EP-based cancer therapies in human and veterinary oncology.
bleomycin; electrochemotherapy; electroporation; gene electrotransfer; vaccines.