Research Papers:

Lymphadenectomy promotes tumor growth and cancer cell dissemination in the spontaneous RET mouse model of human uveal melanoma

Yeo Kim Pin, Karen Khoo, Muly Tham, Tan Karwai, Thiam Chung Hwee, Anne-Laure Puaux, Meow Ling Cindy Phua, Masashi Kato, Veronique Angeli and Jean-Pierre Abastado _

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Oncotarget. 2015; 6:44806-44818. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.6326

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Yeo Kim Pin1, Karen Khoo2, Muly Tham2, Tan Karwai2,3, Thiam Chung Hwee1, Anne-Laure Puaux2, Meow Ling Cindy Phua2, Masashi Kato4, Veronique Angeli1,*, Jean-Pierre Abastado2,5,*

1Department of Microbiology, Immunology Programme, Life Science Institute, Yoon Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore, Singapore

2Singapore Immunology Network, BMSI, A-STAR, Singapore

3Department of Clinical Research, Singapore General Hospital, Singapore

4Department of Occupational and Environmental Health, Nagoya University Graduate School of Medicine, Nagoya, Japan

5Present address: Institut de Recherches Internationales Servier, Suresnes Cedex, France

*These authors have contributed equally to this work

Correspondence to:

Veronique Angeli, e-mail: [email protected]

Jean-Pierre Abastado, e-mail: [email protected]

Keywords: lymphadenectomy, uveal melanoma, inflammation

Received: July 10, 2015     Accepted: October 23, 2015     Published: November 02, 2015


Resection of infiltrated tumor-draining lymph nodes (TDLNs) is a standard practice for the treatment of several cancers including breast cancer and melanoma. However, many randomized prospective trials have failed to show convincing clinical benefits associated with LN removal and the role of TDLNs in cancer dissemination is poorly understood. Here, we found in a well-characterized spontaneous mouse model of uveal melanoma that the growth of the primary tumor was accompanied by increased lymphangiogenesis and cancer cell colonization in the LNs draining the eyes. But, unexpectedly, early resection of the TDLNs increased the growth of the primary tumor and associated blood vessels as well as promoted cancer cell survival and dissemination. These effects were accompanied by increased tumor cell proliferation and expression of phosphorylated AKT. Topical application of a broad anti-inflammatory agent, Tobradex, or an oral treatment with cyclooxygenase-2 specific inhibitor, Celecoxib, reversed tumor progression observed after complete lymphadenectomy. Our study confirms the importance of tumor homeostasis in cancer progression by showing the enhancing effects of TDLN removal on tumor growth and cancer cell dissemination, and suggests that TDLN resection may only be beneficial if used in combination with anti-inflammatory drugs such as Tobradex and Celecoxib.

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