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Cryobiology. 2001 Feb;42(1):49-58.

In vivo destruction of tumor tissue by cryoablation can induce inhibition of secondary tumor growth: an experimental study.

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Department of Surgery, University Hospital Nijmegen, The Netherlands.



Cryoablation has been used successfully for the local treatment of several cancers. Besides local destruction, a systemic antitumor response has been postulated after cryoablation of tumor tissue. In this study we evaluate the possible systemic antitumor response induced by cryodestruction of tumor tissue in two mouse tumor models.


Mice received two subcutaneously placed tumor implants (thigh and flank) of the nonimmunogenic mouse colon tumor cell line, colon 26-B. After 7 days, the thigh implant was treated by cryoablation or excision and the effect on secondary tumor growth was determined by volume measurement of the nontreated flank tumor. Cytokine (IL-1alpha and TNF-alpha) levels in plasma were measured after treatment. Similar experiments were performed in nude mice using a human melanoma cell line (MV3). Moreover, in this model the effect of cryoablation on development of spontaneous lung metastases was evaluated.


In the colon 26-B tumor model treatment of primary tumor implants by cryoablation resulted in a significant inhibition of secondary tumor growth compared to animals treated by surgical excision (P < 0.01). Six hours after treatment, plasma levels of IL-1alpha and TNF-alpha were higher after cryoablation than after excision (P < 0.01). Also in the nude mice model cryoablation resulted in inhibition of secondary tumor growth, though not significant. Mice treated by cryoablation showed significantly less lung metastases compared to those treated by excision (P = 0.03).


Cryoablation of tumor tissue can result in inhibition of secondary and metastatic tumor growth. A cytokine response induced by cryoablation of tumor tissue may attribute to this feature.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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