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Radiology. 2007 Aug;244(2):464-70.

Combination of radiofrequency ablation with antiangiogenic therapy for tumor ablation efficacy: study in mice.

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  • 1Laboratory for Minimally Invasive Tumor Therapy, Department of Radiology, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, 1 Deaconess Rd, WCC 308B, Boston, MA 02215, USA.



To prospectively determine whether modulation of renal cell carcinoma (RCC) tumor microvasculature by using the antiangiogenic drug sorafenib could increase the extent of radiofrequency (RF)-induced coagulation in an RCC animal tumor model.


All investigations received animal care and utilization committee approval. RCC (human 786-0) was implanted subcutaneously into 27 nude mice. Sixteen mice were randomly assigned into one of three groups when tumors reached 12 mm in diameter: Six mice received 80 mg of sorafenib, a Raf kinase and vascular endothelial growth factor receptor inhibitor, per kilogram of body weight; five mice received 20 mg/kg sorafenib; and five mice received a control carrier vehicle alone. Antiangiogenic therapy was administered until a mean 1-mm reduction in tumor diameter was noted in one group. These 16 mice received a standard dose of RF ablation. Ablation size was visualized by using 2% triphenyltetrazolium chloride. An additional 11 tumors in mice treated with sorafenib alone were stained with CD31 to determine microvascular density (MVD). Resultant size of ablation was compared among groups; statistical significance was determined with analysis of variance. Differences in MVD were assessed with the Kruskal-Wallis test.


Over the 9-day administration of sorafenib, mean tumor size in the control group reached 15.2 mm +/- 0.8 (standard deviation). Tumors in mice receiving 20 mg/kg and 80 mg/kg sorafenib measured 12.2 mm +/- 0.6 and 11.1 mm +/- 0.5, respectively (P < .05). RF-induced coagulation diameter was 8.5 mm +/- 0.4 and 11.1 mm +/- 0.3 in the 20 mg/kg and 80 mg/kg sorafenib groups, respectively, but was only 6.7 mm +/- 0.7 for animals that underwent RF ablation alone (P < .01). Likewise, significant decreases in MVD were noted in the sorafenib-treated animals (P < .01).


Treatment of RCC in nude mice with the antiangiogenic agent sorafenib resulted in markedly decreased MVD and significantly larger zones of RF-induced coagulation necrosis.

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