Background: Auto-crosslinked polysaccharide hyaluronan-based solution (Hyalobarrier®-gel) prevents postoperative adhesions. However, its effect on tumour growth is still unknown. The aim of the present study was therefore to investigate the impact on survival of intra-abdominally administered Hyalobarrier®-gel, native hyaluronan (HA) and hyaluronan/carboxymethylcellulose (HA/CMC), after intraperitoneal tumour implantation. Methods: After receiving an intraperitoneal inoculum of the human HT29 colorectal cell line, 615 athymic nude mice were assigned randomly to five groups: groups 1 and 2 received Hyalobarrier®-gel 20 mg/ml (n = 124) and 40 mg/ml (n = 126) respectively; groups 3 and 4 received HA (n = 120) and HA/CMC film (Seprafilm™) (n = 123) respectively. The survival of each treated group was compared with that of group 5, the control, which had no treatment (n = 122). Results: As 34 of the 615 mice were not eligible, 581 animals were considered for the analysis. At 120 days, 136 animals (23.4 per cent) were still alive. At autopsy there was macroscopic absence of tumour in 75 cases (12.9 per cent). No statistically significant differences were found between the treatment and the control groups with respect to postoperative death and absence of tumour implantation. There was no difference in survival rate between the control group and groups treated with Hyalobarrier®-gel, HA or HA/CMC. Conclusion: Hyalobarrier®-gel, HA and HA/CMC had no negative impact on the survival rate in mice that received an intraperitoneal implantation of HT29 colorectal human tumour cells.
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