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Paprottka, Philipp Marius; Roßpunt, Svenja; Ingrisch, Michael; Cyran, Clemens C.; Nikolaou, Konstantin; Reiser, Maximilian F.; Mack, Brigitte; Gires, Olivier; Clevert, Dirk A. und Zengel, Pamela: Reducing tumor growth and angiogenesis using a triple therapy measured with Contrast-enhanced ultrasound (CEUS). In: BMC Cancer 2015, 15:373




Background To evaluate the in vivo response by detecting the anti-angiogenic and invasion-inhibiting effects of a triple-combination-therapy in an experimental-small-animal-squamous-cell-carcinoma-model using the “flash-replenishment” (FR) method to assess tissue hemodynamics via contrast-enhanced-ultrasound (CEUS). Methods Human hypopharynx-carcinoma-cells were subcutaneously injected into the left flank of 22-female-athymic-nude-rats. After seven days of subcutaneous tumor growth, FR-measurements were performed on each rat. Treatment-group and control-group were treated every day for a period of one week, with the treatment-group receiving solvents containing a triple therapy of Upamostat®, Celecoxib® and Ilomastat® and the control-group solvents only. On day seven, follow-up measurements were performed using the same measurement protocol to assess the effects of the triple therapy. VueBox® was used to quantify the kinetic parameters and additional immunohistochemistry analyses were performed for comparison with and validation of the CEUS results against established methods (Proliferation/Ki-67, vascularization/CD31, apoptosis/caspase3). Results Compared to the control-group, the treatment-group that received the triple-therapy resulted in a reduction of tumor growth by 48.6% in size. Likewise, the immunohistochemistry results showed significant decreases in tumor proliferation and vascularization in the treatment-group in comparison to the control-group of 26%(p≤0.05) and 32.2%(p≤0.05) respectively. Correspondingly, between the baseline and follow-up measurements, the therapy-group was associated with a significant(p ≤ 0.01) decrease in the relative-Blood-Volume(rBV) in both the whole tumor(wt) and hypervascular tumor(ht) areas (p≤0.01), while the control-group was associated with a significant (p≤0.01) increase of the rBV in the wt area and a non-significant increase (p≤0.16) in the ht area. The mean-transit-time (mTT) of the wt and the ht areas showed a significant increase (p≤0.01) in the follow-up measurements in the therapy group. Conclusion The triple-therapy is feasible and effective in reducing both tumor growth and vascularization. In particular, compared with the placebo-group, the triple-therapy-group resulted in a reduction in tumor growth of 48.6% in size when assessed by CEUS and a significant reduction in the number of vessels in the tumor of 32% as assessed by immunohistochemistry. As the immunohistochemistry supports the CEUS findings, CEUS using the “flash replenishment”(FR) method appears to provide a useful assessment of the anti-angiogenic and invasion-inhibiting effects of a triple combination therapy.