We studied the effect of combined chemo-immunotherapy, 5-FU followed by thymosin αI (TαI) and interleukin-2 (IL-2) at low doses, on liver metastases from colorectal cancer, induced by splenic injection of DHD/K12 cells (1,2-dimethylhydrazine-induced colon adenocarcinoma) in syngeneic BDIX rats. The presence of liver metastases was checked by laparotomy 14 days after tumor-cell injection. Evaluable rats were assigned randomly to 5 experimental groups designated as control, 5-FU, IL-2, 5-FU/IL-2 and 5- FU/TαI/IL-2. 5-FU was administered i.v. as a continuous infusion for 7 days by an osmotic device implanted surgically. TαI and IL-2 were administered for 4 days and repeated after 11 days. Combined chemo-immunotherapy was shown both to significantly reduce the growth of liver metastases and to prevent extra-hepatic spread. 5-FU/TαI/IL-2 also improved survival rate. Combined immunotherapy after 5-FU restored NK activity of the peripheral-blood- mononuclear-cell (PBMC) in tumor and/or 5-FU immunodepressed rats and enhanced PBMC cytotoxic activity against the DHD/K12 autologous cell line. This model was devised to mimic the clinical situation of unresectable liver metastases.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research