Background and objectives: Surgical trauma in patients undergoing colorectal cancer resection generates local and systemic inflammatory responses that can affect oncological outcomes. Post-operative peritoneal fluids of patients undergoing colorectal surgery increase the pro-malignant effect of cancer cells in vitro with correlation to elevated TNFα in these fluids. This study evaluated whether inhibiting TNFα in patients' postoperative fluid biopsies would attenuate this effect. Methods: Peritoneal fluids from 53 patients undergoing colorectal surgery were sampled before and daily after surgery via intra-abdominal drains. Fluid biopsies were evaluated for their impact on the migration capacity of colon cancer cells and for cytokine levels. TNFα was inhibited using infliximab and cell migration was reevaluated. Results: Colon cancer migration capacity was increased in postoperative fluid biopsies from all patients (P < 0.005) and was elevated compared to pre-resection levels. Infliximab attenuated this effect in >90%, decreasing migration capacity by 30% (p < 0.001). Conclusions: Inhibition of TNFα in postoperative peritoneal fluids attenuates the increase in cancer cell migration capacity generated following colorectal resection. These findings correlate with other studies suggesting that attenuation of the post-operative inflammatory response may have oncological benefit. Clinical studies are needed to evaluate the effect of peri-operative TNFα inhibition in clinical settings.
- Colon cancer