Breast Cancer Coverage from Every Angle

Novel Approach to Targeting Metastatic Breast Cancer Through Sonoporation

By: Joseph Fanelli
Posted: Thursday, November 21, 2019

According to research findings presented in Scientific Reports, anticancer drugs may be delivered through the lymphatic system and combined with sonoporation to “exert a curative effect” in the tumor-bearing lymph nodes of breast cancer cells. The delivery of acoustic liposomes and subsequent exposure to ultrasound, said Tetsuya Kodama, PhD, of Tohoku University, Sendai, Japan, and colleagues, could create “mechanical pressures.” As a result, it may be possible to deliver drugs to breast cancer cells in the marginal sinus of the metastasized lymph nodes.

“We believe that the technique described in this study has the potential to be developed into a new treatment for [lymph nodes] invaded by metastatic tumor cells,” the authors said.

The investigators utilized contrast-enhanced high-frequency ultrasound and histopathology to analyze the structure of lymphatic vessels in mice that exhibit systemic lymphadenopathy. Acoustic liposomes were injected into the subiliac lymph node, and the contrast agent flowed into the marginal sinus of the proper axillary lymph node and reached the cortex. The investigators then applied high-intensity sound waves to the armpit area to rupture the liposomes and release the drug.

Following the injection, the authors examined the antitumor effects of the administered drug and found that the technique suppressed tumor proliferation throughout the experimental period without notable damage to normal tissues. Even 5 days after the tumor cell inoculation, the investigators observed that the solution delivered into the subiliac lymph node could access the tumor lesions in the proper axillary lymph node.

“One of the intriguing findings of the present study is that the littoral cells in the marginal sinus of the tumor-bearing [proper axillary lymph node] were preserved following lymphatic drug administration and application of [ultrasound], whereas these cells were diminished in number in the negative control group or after the administration of drugs without [ultrasound],” the authors noted.

Disclosure: The study authors reported no conflicts of interest.

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