Research Papers:

Treatment of osteosarcoma with microwave thermal ablation to induce immunogenic cell death

Zhe Yu, Jie Geng, Minghua Zhang, Yong Zhou, Qingyu Fan _ and Jingyuan Chen

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Oncotarget. 2014; 5:6526-6539. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.2310

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Zhe Yu1,*, Jie Geng2,*, Minghua Zhang1, Yong Zhou1, Qingyu Fan1 and Jingyuan Chen3

1 Center of Orthopedic Surgery, Orthopedics Oncology Institute of Chinese PLA, Tangdu Hospital, Fourth Military Medical University, Xi’an, Shaanxi, P. R. China

2 Medical Department of Tangdu Hospital, Fourth Military Medical University, Xi’an, Shaanxi, P. R. China

3 Faculty of Military Preventive Medicine, Fourth Military Medical University, Xi’an, Shaanxi P. R. China

* These authors contributed equally to this work


Qingyu Fan, email:

Jingyuan Chen, email:

Keywords: Immunogenic cell death; osteosarcoma; thermal therapy; microwave ablation; cytotoxic T cells

Received: June 20, 2014 Accepted: August 03, 2014 Published: August 04, 2014


Microwave ablation (MWA) has been used as a classical hyperthermic ablation method for decades with the intention to induce direct killing of tumor cells or modulation of tumor architecture. The purpose of this study was to explore whether MWA induced tumor cell death could generate an immunogenic source of tumor antigens and elicit tumor-specific immune responses, taking an alternative antitumor effects. Three kinds of osteosarcoma cell lines, respectively derived from mice, rats and human, were selected as ablation models. In vitro and in situ tumor ablation were both performed to detect the “damage-associated molecular patterns” (DAMPs) exposure level. Active ablated products vaccination resulted in complete protection in both mouse and rat tumor-bearing models, which was mediated primarily by vaccine-elicited CD8+ T cells. These effector cells functioned by releasing IFN-γ and TNF-α in the presence of target cells, which may trigger FasL-directed cell apoptosis. These data suggest that MWA-processed osteosarcoma cells could be applied to generate specific antitumor effects, especially for in situ ablation. Hence, MWA could be used in combination with immunotherapy, especially for patients who have failed chemotherapy or who have limited treatment options.

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