Low electric field cancer treatment-enhanced chemotherapy (LEFCT-EC) is a new treatment modality that combines chemotherapeutic agents and low electric field stimulation. LEFCT-EC was found to destroy malignant mouse tumors and cause massive death of tumor cells. This may enable the immune system cells to efficiently recognize and eliminate tumor cells at the primary tumor site and at metastatic foci. Mice with 15 mm diameter intracutaneous colon carcinomas (CT-26) were injected with BCNU (35 mg/kg), and 2 min later the tumors were exposed to low electric fields (intensity 40 V/cm, pulse duration 180 s, frequency 500 Hz) for 12 min (LEFCT-EC). We found that treatment with LEFCT-EC achieved complete cure of 93% of the animals. In comparison, electric fields alone (13% cure), chemotherapy alone (0%), surgery (15%) or a combination of surgery and bischloroethyl-nitrosurea, carmustine (BCNU; 84%) treatments resulted in lower cure rates. After treatment and cure with LEFCT-EC, 50% of the cured mice developed resistance to a tumor challenge (surgery + BCNU only 15%). Furthermore, splenocytes from cured animals protected naive animals from a tumorigenic dose of tumor cells. Separation of spleen cells into lymphocyte subpopulations indicated a major role for CD4 and CD8 T cells in this protection. FACS analysis revealed restoration of normal splenocyte subpopulation proportions impaired by cytotoxic chemotherapy. Our results suggest that LEFCT-EC can directly destroy primary tumors and facilitate the destruction of metastatic disease by enforcement of antitumor immune responses.
- Antitumor immune response
- Colon cancer