Thymosin alpha 1 as an adjuvant to hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy in an experimental model of peritoneal metastases from colonic carcinoma

Nadav Nevo, Adam Lee Goldstein, Shoshi Bar-David, Maya Natanson, Gilad Alon, Guy Lahat, Eran Nizri*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Introduction: Heated intraperitoneal chemotherapy (HIPEC) is currently implemented in the treatment of peritoneal metastases from colorectal carcinoma (PM-CRC) origin. However, recurrence is common and the effectiveness of HIPEC has been questioned. The aim of this study was to evaluate the use of thymosin alpha 1 (Tα1), an immunomodulatory molecule, as an adjuvant to HIPEC treatment. Methods: We developed an experimental model of HIPEC by the induction of PM-CRC in C57BL mice and intra-abdominal perfusion of mitomycin C (MMC). Mice were treated with Tα1 at 0.6 mg/kg for 5 days after HIPEC. Clinical and immunological parameters were compared between HIPEC and HIPEC + Tα1 groups. Results: Treatment with Tα1 increased overall survival of mice compared to HIPEC treatment alone and sham-treated animals (16.1 ± 0.8 vs. 14.1 ± 0.6 and 11.8 ± 0.8, respectively, p = 0.02). Tα1 had no direct anti-tumor effect, as seen by lack of inhibition of tumor cell proliferation. Tα1 treatment induced a T helper (Th) 1 immune response in tumor metastases as evidenced by a significant increase of the Th1-specific markers IFN-γ and T-bet (1.21 ± 0.3 vs. 0.52 ± 0.08, p < 0.05; 0.88 ± 0.04 vs. 0.64 ± 0.14, p < 0.05, respectively). This Th1 skew was accompanied by increased CD8+ infiltration into omental and visceral metastases by Tα1 treatment compared to sham and HIPEC-treated animals (21.24 ± 2.16 vs. 10.45 ± 0.89 and 7.7 ± 1.3, p < 0.001; 14.12 ± 1.54 vs. 12.12 ± 0.01 and 6.64 ± 0.87, p < 0.01, respectively). Conclusions: Tα1 augments the effect of HIPEC by the induction of a Th1 anti-tumor immune response. Further experiments should evaluate Tα1 and other novel immunomodulators in order to exploit the immunological opportunities created by HIPEC.

Original languageEnglish
Article number109166
JournalInternational Immunopharmacology
Volume111
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2022

Keywords

  • Colorectal cancer
  • Heated intraperitoneal chemotherapy
  • Immunomodulation
  • Peritoneal metastases
  • Thymosin alpha 1

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