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Oncol Res. 2000;12(2):51-8.

Antitumor activity of alpha-galactosylceramide, KRN7000, in mice with the melanoma B16 hepatic metastasis and immunohistological study of tumor infiltrating cells.

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Pharmaceutical Research Laboratory, Kirin Brewery Co., Ltd., Gunma, Japan.


Liver metastasis of primary tumors is clinically a major problem. We examined the antitumor activity of KRN7000, an alpha-galactosylceramide, in mice with liver metastasis of the B16 melanoma. KRN7000 significantly inhibited tumor growth in the liver, and its potency was similar to that of interleukin-12. The KRN7000 administration resulted in a high percentage of cured mice, which acquired tumor-specific immunity. To study what kinds of antitumor effector cells participated in killing tumor cells, we then performed immunohistological analysis of tumor-infiltrating cells, and found that KRN7000 induced marked invasion of NK1.1+ cells, CD8+ cells, and F4/80+ cells (macrophages) into B16 tumor nodules. In addition, it appeared that KRN7000-treated, liver-associated macrophages possessed strong lytic activity against tumor cells. These results suggest that NK cells, NK1.1+ T (NKT) cells, cytotoxic T lymphocytes, and macrophages play an important role in killing tumor cells in the liver, and that KRN7000 may be useful for the treatment of cancer liver metastasis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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