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Oncol Lett. 2016 Aug;12(2):1011-1018. Epub 2016 Jun 13.

Low-frequency ultrasound-mediated microvessel disruption combined with docetaxel to treat prostate carcinoma xenografts in nude mice: A novel type of chemoembolization.

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Department of Ultrasound in Medicine, Sixth People's Hospital Affiliated to Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine, Shanghai 200233, P.R. China.


The aim of the present study was to investigate whether low-frequency ultrasound (US)-mediated microvessel disruption combined with docetaxel (DTX) can be used as a novel type of chemoembolization. Mice were assigned to four groups: i) The USMB group, treated with low-frequency US combined with microbubbles (USMB); ii) the DTX group, treated with DTX; iii) the USMB + DTX group, treated with combined therapy; and iv) the control group, which was untreated. Immediately after the first treatment, the average peak intensity (API) on contrast-enhanced US was calculated, and tumors were excised for hematoxylin and eosin (HE) staining. At 2 weeks post-treatment, the tumor volumes and wet weights were calculated, and tumors were excised for immunohistochemistry to calculate apoptotic index (AI), proliferative index (PI) and microvessel density (MVD) values. Immediately after the first treatment, in the DTX and control groups, the tumors demonstrated abundant perfusion enhancement, while in the USMB + DTX and USMB groups, blood perfusion of the tumors was interrupted. Compared with that of the control group, the API was significantly lower in the USMB + DTX USMB groups (all P<0.001). HE staining showed that tumor microvasculature was disrupted into flaky hematomas and severely dilated microvessels in the USMB + DTX and USMB groups. In the DTX and control groups, there was no distinct evidence of the disruption and dilation of blood microvessels. At the end of the treatment, the mean tumor inhibition ratio was 73.33, 46.67 and 33.33% for the USMB + DTX, DTX and USMB groups, respectively. The USMB + DTX group had the highest AI, and the lowest PI and MVD compared with the other groups, although the difference between the USMB + DTX and DTX groups with regard to PI and MVD was not significant (USMB + DTX vs. DTX group, P=0.345 and P=0.059, respectively). In conclusion, as a novel type of chemoembolization, USMB combined with DTX is more effective than USMB or DTX alone in inhibiting tumor growth via the enhancement of apoptosis, and the suppression of proliferation and angiogenesis.


docetaxel; low-frequency ultrasound; microbubble; prostate carcinoma; tumor vasculature

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