The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) has issued full guidance to the NHS in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland on Electrochemotherapy for metastases in the skin from tumours of non-skin origin and melanoma


Cancer that starts in one part of the body can spread (metastasise) and form tumours on or below the skin elsewhere in the body, especially when the cancer is severe and widespread. These skin tumours can cause problems such as bleeding, pain or ulceration.

In electrochemotherapy an anticancer drug is given by injection either into a vein or directly into a tumour. Short, powerful pulses of electricity are then applied to the tumour. The electrical energy opens the membranes (outer coverings) of the tumour cells, allowing the anticancer drug to pass through into the cells and have a more damaging effect.

Coding recommendations

The relevant procurement/delivery codes in categories X70-X72 (depending if this is as an inpatient, outpatient or day case).

Body system chapter code (if applicable)

Y12.3 Electrochemotherapy to lesion of organ NOC

Includes: Electroporation to lesion of organ NOC

Chapter Z site code(s)

Z94.-   Laterality of organ (if a paired organ)

Your responsibility

This guidance represents the view of NICE, arrived at after careful consideration of the evidence available. When exercising their judgement, healthcare professionals are expected to take this guidance fully into account, and specifically any special arrangements relating to the introduction of new interventional procedures. The guidance does not override the individual responsibility of healthcare professionals to make decisions appropriate to the circumstances of the individual patient, in consultation with the patient and/or guardian or carer. 

All problems (adverse events) related to a medicine or medical device used for treatment or in a procedure should be reported to the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency using the Yellow Card Scheme.

Commissioners and/or providers have a responsibility to implement the guidance, in their local context, in light of their duties to have due regard to the need to eliminate unlawful discrimination, advance equality of opportunity, and foster good relations. Nothing in this guidance should be interpreted in a way that would be inconsistent with compliance with those duties. Providers should ensure that governance structures are in place to review, authorise and monitor the introduction of new devices and procedures.

Commissioners and providers have a responsibility to promote an environmentally sustainable health and care system and should assess and reduce the environmental impact of implementing NICE recommendations wherever possible.

  • National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE)