Tumor necrosis factor-α augments tumor effects in isolated hepatic perfusion with melphalan in a rat sarcoma model

Marc G.A. Van Ijken, Boudewijn Van Etten, Johannes H.W. De Wilt, Sandra T. Van Tiel, Timo L.M. Ten Hagen, Alexander M.M. Eggermont

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23 Citations (Scopus)


Isolated hepatic perfusion (IHP) is an attractive approach to treating nonresectable liver tumors, because the effects of systemic chemotherapy are poor and its application is hampered by severe general toxicity. In clinical and experimental settings, the efficacy of isolated limb perfusion (ILP) with tumor necrosis factor-α (TNFα) in combination with melphalan to treat melanoma in transit and soft-tissue sarcoma has been well established. In an ILP model in rats, the authors previously observed synergistic anti-tumor effects of TNF and melphalan on BN 175 soft-tissue sarcoma extremity tumors. The aim of the current study was to determine whether similar synergy in anti-tumor effects could be achieved by treating experimental BN 175 soft- tissue sarcoma liver tumors by IHP using these agents. The authors found that IHP with TNF and melphalan resulted in a dramatic increase in regional concentrations of perfused agents with virtually no concomitant systemic leakage. Isolated hepatic perfusion with only carrier solution resulted in a significantly diminished growth rate of BN 175 liver tumors compared with the growth rate of tumors in nonperfused rats. Perfusion with melphalan alone resulted in minimal anti-tumor effects. Perfusion with only TNF had a slight growth-stimulatory effect on the BN 175 liver tumors, but no negative effects on tumor growth were observed. When TNF was added to melphalan, a dramatic anti-tumor effect was observed. Thus, as in the rat ILP setting, the antitumor effect is augmented when TNF is added to IHP with melphalan to treat BN 175 soft-tissue sarcoma tumor-bearing rats. Strikingly, the tumor response was potentiated at relatively low concentrations of TNF compared with concentrations that elicited synergy with melphalan in ILP.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)449-455
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Immunotherapy
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2000
Externally publishedYes


  • Isolated Hepatic Perfusion
  • Melphalan
  • Rats
  • Sarcoma
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor


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