Pulsed-focused ultrasound slows B16 melanoma and 4T1 breast tumor growth through differential tumor microenvironmental changes

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Cohen G., Chandran P., Lorsung R. M. , Aydin Ö. , Tomlinson L. E. , Rosenblatt R. B. , ...More

Cancers, vol.13, no.7, 2021 (Journal Indexed in SCI) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 13 Issue: 7
  • Publication Date: 2021
  • Doi Number: 10.3390/cancers13071546
  • Title of Journal : Cancers
  • Keywords: focused ultrasound, B16 melanoma, immune response, tumor microenvironment


© 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.Focused ultrasound (FUS) has shown promise as a non-invasive treatment modality for solid malignancies. FUS targeting to tumors has been shown to initiate pro-inflammatory immune responses within the tumor microenvironment. Pulsed FUS (pFUS) can alter the expression of cytokines, chemokines, trophic factors, cell adhesion molecules, and immune cell phenotypes within tissues. Here, we investigated the molecular and immune cell effects of pFUS on murine B16 melanoma and 4T1 breast cancer flank tumors. Temporal changes following sonication were evaluated by proteomics, RNA-seq, flow-cytometry, and histological analyses. Proteomic profiling revealed molecular changes occurring over 24 h post-pFUS that were consistent with a shift toward inflamed tumor microenvironment. Over 5 days post-pFUS, tumor growth rates were significantly decreased while flow cytometric analysis revealed differences in the temporal migration of immune cells. Transcriptomic analyses following sonication identified differences in gene expression patterns between the two tumor types. Histological analyses further demonstrated reduction of proliferation marker, Ki-67 in 4T1, but not in B16 tumors, and activated cleaved-caspase 3 for apoptosis remained elevated up to 3 days post-pFUS in both tumor types. This study revealed diverse biological mechanisms following pFUS treatment and supports its use as a possible adjuvant to ablative tumor treatment to elicit enhanced anti-tumor responses and slow tumor growth.