Published on Tue Sep 07 2021

Contrast-enhanced ultrasound for evaluation of tumor perfusion and outcome following treatment in a murine melanoma model.

Maja Brloznik, Nina Boc, Maja Cemazar, Masa Bosnjak, Monika Savarin, Natasa Kejzar, Gregor Sersa, Darja Pavlin, Simona Kranjc Brezar

CEUS evaluation was verified by tumor histological analysis. CEUS revealed a decrease in tumor perfusion in the combined therapy groups compared with the control groups. The greater the perfusion of the tumor, the shorter the expected doubling time.

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Abstract

Due to a lack of data on predictors of electroporation-based treatment outcomes, we investigated the potential predictive role of contrast-enhanced harmonic ultrasound (CEUS) in mice B16F10 melanoma treated by gene electrotransfer (GET) to silence melanoma cell adhesion molecule (MCAM) and radiotherapy, which has not been evaluated yet. CEUS evaluation was verified by tumor histological analysis. Mice bearing subcutaneous tumors were treated with GET to silence MCAM, irradiation or the combination of GET to silence MCAM and irradiation (combined treatment). CEUS of the tumors used to evaluate tumor perfusion was performed before and up to 10 days after the beginning of the experiment, and the CEUS results were compared with tumor growth and the number of blood vessels analyzed in the histological tumor sections. CEUS revealed a decrease in tumor perfusion in the combined therapy groups compared with the control groups and correlated with tumor histological analyses, which showed a decreased vascular density. In this study a trend of inverse correlation was observed between tumor perfusion and treatment efficacy. The greater the perfusion of the tumor, the shorter the expected doubling time. Furthermore, decreased perfusion showed a trend to correlate with higher antitumor efficacy. Thus, CEUS could be used to predict tumoral vascular density and treatment effectiveness.