Published online Jun 7, 2016. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v22.i21.5042
Peer-review started: December 4, 2015
First decision: February 18, 2016
Revised: February 24, 2016
Accepted: March 14, 2016
Article in press: March 14, 2016
Published online: June 7, 2016
AIM: To compare the effect of transarterial chemoembolization (TACE) plus GRGDSP (Gly-Arg-Gly-Asp-Ser-Pro, integrin-inhibitor) loaded nanoparticles with TACE alone or TACE + GRGDSP in a rat model of liver tumor.
METHODS: Morris hepatoma 3924A tumors were implanted in the livers of 30 ACI rats. The ACI rats were divided randomly into three groups (10 animals each). Tumor volume before treatment (V1) was examined by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and then, after laparotomy and placement of a PE-10 catheter into the hepatic artery, the following interventional protocols were performed: TACE (mitomycin C + lipiodol + degradable starch microspheres) + GRGDSP loaded nanoparticles for group A; TACE + GRGDSP for group B (control group 1); TACE alone for group C (control group 2). Tumor volume (V2) was assessed by MRI and the mean ratio of the post-treatment to pretreatment tumor volumes (V2/V1) was calculated. Immunohistochemical analysis was performed to assess the quantification of matrix metalloprotein 9 (MMP-9) and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) positive tumor cells in each treatment group.
RESULTS: The mean tumor growth ratios (V2/V1) were 1.3649 ± 0.1194 in group A, 2.0770 ± 0.1595 in group B, and 3.2148 ± 0.1075 in group C. Compared with groups B and C, group A showed a significant reduction in tumor volume. Lower expression of MMP-9 and VEGF in hepatocellular carcinoma was observed in group A than in groups B and C. The angiogenesis of tumor was evaluated using anti-VEGF antibodies, and the metastasis of tumor was assessed using anti-MMP-9 antibody. MMP-9 and VEGF were expressed in all specimens. The immunoexpression of these proteins was confirmed by the presence of red cytoplasmic staining in tumor cells. Lower expression of MMP-9 and VEGF in hepatocellular carcinoma was observed in group A than in groups B and C.
CONCLUSION: Transarterial administration of integrin inhibitor loaded nanoparticles combined with TACE evidently retards tumor growth and intrahepatic metastases compared with TACE alone or TACE plus integrin inhibitor in an animal model of hepatocellular carcinoma.
Core tip: Our experimental study was designed to reduce tumor progression and recurrence through a combination of transarterial administration of GRGDSP (integrin-inhibitor) loaded nanoparticles plus transarterial chemoembolization (TACE) in an animal model of liver tumor. Our data showed that the combined biological and interventional treatment is a safe and effective therapy compared with TACE alone or TACE plus GRGDSP. The combined multimodal targeting therapies exhibit tremendous advantages over conventional interventional therapy alone.