Information for the public

What has NICE said?

There is evidence that this procedure is safe, but not much good evidence about how well it works. Therefore, it should only be used if extra care is taken to explain the risks and extra steps are put in place to record and review what happens. It is very important that the right patients are offered this procedure, because existing treatments are very effective.

A team of healthcare professionals who are experienced in the management of skin cancer should decide which patients should be offered this procedure. The reasons for offering the procedure should be carefully considered, especially when treatment is intended to cure primary cancer.

This procedure should only be done by health professionals with special training in electrochemotherapy.

NICE is asking health professionals to send information about everyone who has the procedure and what happens to them afterwards to a database at the InspECT register so that how well the procedure works can be checked over time.

What does this mean for me?

Your health professional should fully explain what is involved in having this procedure and discuss the possible benefits and risks with you. In particular, they should explain the uncertainty about the evidence on how likely it is to cure your cancer, possible side effects, and why this procedure is being offered as an alternative to other treatments. You should also be told how to find more information about the procedure. You should only be asked if you want to agree to this procedure after having this discussion.

If you decide to have the procedure your health professional might ask you if your details can be included in the database.

Other comments from NICE

NICE noted that there are already treatments available that can cure these cancers, but this procedure may be useful for certain carefully chosen people whose tumours are hard to reach or difficult to treat.

NICE also noted that patients may have pain and ulceration after treatment.

  • Information Standard