5th Veterinary workshop on electroporation-based treatments



Thursday, 12 May, 2022 (Time zone CEST/GMT+2)

Speakers: D. Miklavcic, M. Čemazar, G. Serša, B. Trotovšek & M. Đokić, N. Tozon, J. Račnik, J. Impellizeri
Chairperson: N. Tozon

Day 1 (Small Animal Clinic, Veterinary faculty Ljubljana)
9.00 - 9.30      Electroporation of cells and tissues by high voltage electric pulses (D. Miklavcic)
9.30 - 10.00    Tumor biology and preclinical electrochemotherapy (M. Čemazar)
10.00 - 10.30  Electrochemotherapy in human oncology (G. Serša)
10.30 - 11.00  Electrochemotherapy of deep - seated tumors (B. Trotovšek & M. Đokić)

11.00 - 11.30  Coffee Break

11.30 - 12.00   Electrochemotherapy in veterinary oncology  - dogs and cats (N. Tozon)
12.00 - 12.30   Electrochemotherapy in exotic pets (J. Račnik)
12.30 - 13.30   Clinical cases (J. Impellizeri)

13.30 - 15.00   Lunch     

15.00 - 17.00   Practical work I

Friday, 13 May, 2022 (Time zone CEST/GMT+2)

Speakers: U. Lampreht Tratar, N. Milevoj, A. Nemec, M. Brložnik, N. Tozon
N. Tozon

Day 2  (Small Animal Clinic, Veterinary faculty Ljubljana)
9.00 - 9.30       Gene electrotransfer with IL-12 - how did the preclinical work help using veterinary medicine? (U. Lampreht Tratar)
9.30 - 10.00     Treating mast cell tumors in dogs with electrochemotherapy and gene electrotransfer (N. Milevoj)
10.00 - 10.15   Treating oral tumors in dogs with electrochemotherapy and gene electrotransfer (A. Nemec)
10.15 - 10.30   Contrast-enhanced ultrasound as predictive factor for electrochemotherapy and gene electrotransfer in canine cutaneous and subcutaneous tumors (M. Brložnik)

10.30 - 11.00   Coffee Break

11.00 - 11.30    How to talk with owners about electrochemotherapy and gene electrotransfer? (N. Tozon)
11.30 - 12.30    Case reports  

13.30 - 14.00    Lunch

14.00 - 16.00    Practical work II (patient follow-up) & Discussion
16.00 - 16.30    Concluding remarks


Registration information:

Registration before 13 April, 2022
- 300 €/person + 22% VAT, Members of any National organizing Association FECAVA/WSAVA or ISEBTT Members
- 400 €/person + 22% VAT, Non-Members
- 100 €/person + 22% VAT, Students VF UL

Registration after 13 April, 2022
- 350 €/person + 22% VAT, Members of any National organizing Association FECAVA/WSAVA or ISEBTT Members
- 450 €/person + 22% VAT, Non-Members
- 150 €/person + 22% VAT, Students VF UL

Live stream (online)
- 250 €/person + 22% VAT, Members of any National organizing Association FECAVA/WSAVA or ISEBTT Members
- 350 €/person + 22% VAT, Non-Members
- 50 €/person + 22% VAT, Students VF UL

Registration includes lunch and coffee breaks (not included for the online participants). 
The registration for the live workshop is limited to 16 participants. An overbooking of the workshop will be disclosed

Institute of Oncology Ljubljana - OI Ljubljana
Veterinary Faculty University of Ljubljana - VF UL
Slovenian Small Animal Veterinary Association - SiSAVA

For more information about the workshop please contact: ulampreht@onko-i.si
Prof. Nataša Tozon, e-mail: natasa.tozon@vf.uni-lj.si


Prof. Maja Čemažar, DVM, PhD

Maja Čemažar graduated from Biotechnical faculty, University of Ljubljana and received her PhD in basic medical sciences from the Medical Faculty, University of Ljubljana in 1998. After PhD she was a postdoctoral fellow and researcher at Gray Cancer Institute, UK from 1999 to 2001. Later on, in 2004, she was an associate researcher at the Institute of Pharmacology and Structural Biology in Toulouse, France. Currently she works at the Departments of Experimental Oncology, Institute of Oncology Ljubljana and at the Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Primorska, Slovenia. She is active in the field of gene electrotransfer employing plasmid DNA encoding different therapeutic genes and therapies with vascular disrupting agents. In 2006 she received the Award of the republic of Slovenia for important achievements in scientific research and development in the field of experimental oncology. In 2018 she was awarded the 2018 Frank Reidy Award for Outstanding Achievements in Bioelectrics. She is the author of more than 200 articles in peer-reviewed journals.
Tumor biology and preclinical electrochemotherapy Electrochemotherapy is an ablative method that consists of chemotherapy followed by local application of electric pulses (electroporation) to the tumor to increase drug delivery into cells in tumors. Only drugs that have hampered transport through the plasma membrane have an increased drug uptake by electroporation. So far, only cisplatin and bleomycin have found their way from preclinical testing to clinical use. A several-fold increase of their cytotoxicity by electroporation of cells have been demonstrated in in vitro studies. Moreover, electrochemotherapy proved to be an effective antitumor treatment after local or systemic administration of either of the drugs. Electrochemotherapy studies using either bleomycin or cisplatin in several tumor models elaborated treatment parameters for effective local tumor control. Besides different route of administration, the dosage, timing and electrical parameters were defined in preclinical studies. Furthermore, mechanisms of antitumor effectiveness of electrochemotherapy were determined being, direct cytotoxicity due to the action of drugs, vascular disrupting action and immune response modulation. Furthermore, electrochemotherapy was evaluated in combination with other established treatment modalities, like irradiation, and new approaches, like gene therapy. These new approaches will also be presented during the lecture.

Prof. Gregor Serša, DVM, PhD

Gregor Sersa graduated from Biotechnical faculty, University of Ljubljana and received his PhD in 1988 from Faculty of Medicine, University of Ljubljana. From 2003 he is a full professor Full Professor of molecular biology at Biotechnical Faculty, University of Ljubljana. He is employed at the Institute of Oncology in Ljubljana as Head of the Department of Experimental Oncology. His specific field of interest is the effect of electric field on tumor cells and tumors as drug and gene delivery system in different therapeutic approaches. Besides experimental work, he is actively involved in the education of undergraduate and postgraduate students at the University of Ljubljana. From 1998 he is Editor in Chief of journal “Radiology and Oncology” and from 2015 he is an associate member of Slovenian Academy of Science and Arts.
Electrochemotherapy in human oncology Electrochemotherapy is a local treatment of cancer, which combines the administration of the chemotherapeutic drug followed by application of electric pulses to the tumour, in order to facilitate the drug uptake into the cells. Currently, only two chemotherapeutics are used in electrochemotherapy, bleomycin and cisplatin, which both have hampered transport through the plasma membrane without electroporation of tumours. Preclinical studies focused on the treatment parameters, route of drug administration and proved its effectiveness on several experimental tumour models. Based on the known mechanisms of action, electrochemotherapy has been successfully tested in the clinics and is now in standard treatment of cutaneous tumours and metastases. Electrochemotherapy as a platform technology, is now being translated also into the treatment of bigger and deep seated tumours. With new electrodes and new electric pulse generators, clinical trials are on-going for treatment of liver metastases and primary tumours, of pancreas, bone metastases and soft tissue sarcomas, as well as brain metastases, tumours in in oesophagus or in rectum.

Prof. Nataša Tozon, DVM, PhD

Prof. dr. Nataša Tozon graduated from the Veterinary faculty of the University of Ljubljana in 1991. In 1995, she completed her master's studies and in 1998 she obtained her doctoral degree, defending the doctoral dissertation »The occurence and progression of renal pathological changes in feline immunodeficiency virus-infected cats«.
In 2014 she was appointed as Full Professor in field of Animal Health and Diseases – Internal Medicine of Small Animals at the Veterinary Faculty in Ljubljana. Since 1997 she has been lecturing different subjects, primarily infectious diseases and clinical oncology. She is a member of the Research Programme Group P4 0053, researching endocrine, immune and enzyme responses in healthy and diseased animals and participates in several research projects, primarily in the field of translational oncology and current infectious diseases of dogs and cats. She also received a special achievement award for research work from the Veterinary Faculty in 2016. Furthermore, in 2017 one of her publications was selected for »Excellent in Science«, which is rewarded by the the Scientific Research Councils of Slovenian Research Agency. She was a mentor to three junior researchers, mentor or co-mentor to 6 postgraduate students (one masters and five doctoral) as well as seven student research studies.
Prof. Nataša Tozon participated in curriculum of Veterinary Faculty in Pisa, Italy and Veterinary Faculty, University of Jerusalem, Israel as an invited lecturer. Since 2007, she has been teaching postgraduate studies in Clinical Oncology – Masters in Oncology at the Veterinary Faculty in Pisa, Italy. As an invited lecturer she also participated in the 1st World Congress in the field of electroporation in year 2015. Nataša Tozon is a member of the organizing, editorial and program committee of the annual international workshop on the use of electrochemotherapy and gene electrotransfer in veterinary medicine. She frequently participates as an invited lecturer at different types of education in the field of electroporation based therapies around the globe.
As a reviewer, she has collaborated with numerous professional and scientific journals: the Slovenian Veterinary Resarch, Journal of Small Animal Practice, Current Medical Chemistry, Veterinary Archives of Zagreb, Ticks and Tick-Borne Diseases, Ciencia Rural, Journal of Veterinary Medical Science , Medical & Biological Eng & Computing.
She is a member of numerous professional associations, the Veterinary Chamber of Slovenia, the Slovenian Small Animal Veterinary Association (member of the management board since 2004, President of the management board 2006-2008, 2010-2012 and 2016-2018), member of the Federation of European Companion Animal Veterinary Associations (FECAVA) and the World Small Animal Veterinary Association (WSAVA). From 2006 she is also a representative of Slovenia at WSAVA, ESVONC, ESVIM and ISCAID.
In her clinical work she uses her professional experience to successfully transfer knowledge gained from research work to clinical practice. Nataša Tozon is one of the first in the world to introduce some alternative methods of treatment of oncologic diseases, such as electrochemotherapy and immunotherapy employing interleukin-12 gene electrotransfer into veterinary medicine.

Urša Lampreht Tratar, DVM, PhD

Urša Lampreht Tratar graduated from Veterinary faculty, University of Ljubljana and received her PhD in biomedicine from the Medical Faculty, University of Ljubljana in 2018. She currently works at the Department of Experimental Oncology, Institute of Oncology Ljubljana. Her specific interest in the electroporation field are clinical studies on spontaneous tumors in dogs combining electrochemotherapy and IL-12 gene electrotransfer.

Nina Milevoj, DVM, PhD

Nina Milevoj, DVM, is a junior researcher at Small Animal Clinic of the Veterinary Faculty, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia. She graduated as a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from the University of Ljubljana, Slovenia in 2016. Before graduation, she completed six months of practical training in oncology, internal medicine and surgery at Royal Veterinary College London, Veterinary Referral and Critical Care Centre (VRCC) in Essex and University College Dublin. After graduation she continued her education with Interdisciplinary PhD Programme in Biomedicine, University of Ljubljana, under the mentorship of prof. Nataša Tozon, while working as a veterinarian at the Small Animal Clinic. Her main area of research is electroporation-based treatment of tumors in dogs and cats. She is regularly attending congresses and symposia in Slovenia and abroad in the fields of oncology, internal medicine, cytology and diagnostic imaging.