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08/04/2013 (Added to site)
Author(s): Markelc, B.; Sersa, G.; Cemazar, M.

Differential Mechanisms Associated with Vascular Disrupting Action of Electrochemotherapy: Intravital Microscopy on the Level of Single Normal and Tumor Blood Vessels

Journal: PLoS ONE 8/3: e59557
DOI: doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0059557
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Abstract: Electropermeabilization/electroporation (EP) provides a tool for the introduction of molecules into cells and tissues. In electrochemotherapy (ECT), cytotoxic drugs are introduced into cells in tumors, and nucleic acids are introduced into cells in gene electrotransfer. The normal and tumor tissue blood flow modifying effects of EP and the vascular disrupting effect of ECT in tumors have already been determined. However, differential effects between normal vs. tumor vessels, to ensure safety in the clinical application of ECT, have not been determined yet. Therefore, the aim of our study was to determine the effects of EP and ECT with bleomycin on the HT-29 human colon carcinoma tumor model and its surrounding blood vessels. The response of blood vessels to EP and ECT was monitored in real time, directly at the single blood vessel level, by in vivo optical imaging in a dorsal window chamber in SCID mice with 70 kDa fluorescently labeled dextrans. The response of tumor blood vessels to EP and ECT started to differ within the first hour. Both therapies induced a vascular lock, decreased functional vascular density (FVD) and increased the diameter of functional blood vessels within the tumor. The effects were more pronounced for ECT, which destroyed the tumor blood vessels within 24 h. Although the vasculature surrounding the tumor was affected by EP and ECT, it remained functional. The study confirms the current model of tumor blood flow modifying effects of EP and provides conclusive evidence that ECT is a vascular disrupting therapy with a specific effect on the tumor blood vessels.



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