Research Papers:

Improved therapeutic outcomes of thermal ablation on rat orthotopic liver allograft sarcoma models by radioiodinated hypericin induced necrosis targeted radiotherapy

Long Gao, Jian Zhang, Tengchuang Ma, Nan Yao, Meng Gao, Xin Shan, Yicheng Ni, Haibo Shao and Ke Xu _

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Oncotarget. 2016; 7:51450-51461. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.9848

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Long Gao1, Jian Zhang2, Tengchuang Ma1, Nan Yao2, Meng Gao2, Xin Shan2, Yicheng Ni3, Haibo Shao1, Ke Xu1

1Department of Radiology, The First Affiliated Hospital of China Medical University, Shenyang, China

2Laboratory of Translational Medicine, Jiangsu Provincial Academy of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Nanjing, China

3Department of Imaging & Pathology, Theragnostic Laboratory, University of Leuven, Leuven, Belgium

Correspondence to:

Ke Xu, email: [email protected]

Haibo Shao, email: [email protected]

Keywords: radioiodinated hypericin, microwave ablation, sarcoma, orthotopic liver allograft

Received: October 26, 2015     Accepted: May 22, 2016     Published: June 6, 2016


Residual tumor resulting in tumor recurrence after various anticancer therapies is an unmet challenge in current clinical oncology. This study aimed to investigate the hypothesis that radioiodinated hypericin (131I-Hyp) may inhibit residual tumor recurrence after microwave ablation (MWA) on rat orthotopic liver allograft sarcoma models.

Thirty Sprague-Dawley (SD) rats with hepatic tumors were divided into three groups: Group A received laparotomy MWA and sequential intravenous injection (i.v.) of 131I labelled hypericin (131I-Hyp) in a time interval of 24 h; Group B received only laparotomy MWA; Group C was a blank control. Tumor inhibitory effects were monitored with in vivo magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and these findings were compared to histopathology data before (baseline, day 0) and 1, 4, and 8 days after MWA. In addition, biodistribution of 131I-Hyp was assessed with in vivo single-photon emission computed tomography-computed tomography (SPECT-CT) imaging, in vitro autoradiography, fluorescent microscopy, and gamma counting.

A fast clearance of 131I-Hyp and increasing deposit in necrotic tumors appeared over time, with a significantly higher radioactivity than other organs (0.9169 ± 1.1138 % ID/g, P < 0.01) on day 9. Tumor growth was significantly slowed down in group A compared to group B and C according to MRI images and corresponding tumor doubling time (12.13 ± 1.99, 4.09 ± 0.97, 3.36 ± 0.72 days respectively). The crescent tagerability of 131I-Hyp to necrosis was visualized consistently by autoradiography and fluorescence microscopy.

In conclusion, 131I-Hyp induced necrosis targeted radiotherapy improved therapeutic outcomes of MWA on rat orthotopic liver allograft sarcoma models.

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