Using a liver tumour model we investigated whether thalidomide enhances the anti-tumour effect of transcatheter arterial embolisation (TAE).
First, the viability of VX2 tumour cells co-cultured with thalidomide in a 21% and 1% O2 atmosphere was assessed by 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide assay. Second, we randomly assigned 20 rabbits bearing VX2 liver tumours to 4 groups: Group 1 (thalidomide plus TAE), Group 2 (TAE only), Group 3 (thalidomide only) and Group 4 (control). Thalidomide was orally administered for 5 days. The anti-tumour effects were assessed by the tumour proliferation rate using MRI and by immunohistochemical analysis of the area of intratumoural vessels. Analysis of variance and Tukey's honestly significant difference test were used for statistical analysis.
The viability of cells grown under hypoxic and normal conditions was not significantly different, nor was there a difference among the four groups. The tumour size increased by 55.9±29.3% in Group 1, 250.6±73.3% in Group 2, 355.2±51.7% in Group 3 and 424.7±110.7% in Group 4; the difference between Group 1 and the other three groups was significant. The area of intratumour vessels in specimens was 0.22±0.28% in Group 1, 0.42±0.29% in Group 2, 1.44±1.00% in Group 3 and 6.00±2.17% in Group 4; the difference between Group 1 and the other groups was statistically significant, as was the difference between Groups 3 and 4.
Thalidomide used in combination with TAE enhanced anti-tumour effects in rabbits bearing VX2 liver tumours.