Enhancement of the immune response to residual intrahepatic tumor tissue by laser-induced thermotherapy (LITT) compared to hepatic resection

Lasers Surg Med. 2004;35(4):284-92. doi: 10.1002/lsm.20097.


Background and objectives: In contrast to hepatic resection, thermally destroyed autologous tumor cells remain in situ after laser-induced thermotherapy (LITT). The aim of the study was to evaluate the effect of LITT and hepatic resection on the immune response to residual intrahepatic tumor tissue and the growth of untreated liver metastases.

Study design/materials and methods: Two independent adenocarcinomas (CC531) were implanted into 60 WAG rats, one in the right (control tumor) and one in the left liver lobe (treated tumor). The left lobe tumor was treated either by LITT or partial hepatectomy. The control tumor was submitted to further investigation 24 hours, 96 hours, 7 days, and 10 days after treatment.

Results: Ten days after treatment, control tumor volumes were 296+/-46 mm_ after LITT and 1,181+/-192 mm_, 1,387+/-200 mm_ after hepatic resection and no treatment, respectively (P<0.001). Peritoneal tumor spread was detected in 4/20 cases after LITT and in 17/20 cases after hepatic resection. Expression of CD8, B7-2 (CD86), and to lesser extent MHCII, LFA1 (CD11a), and ICAM1 (CD54), was significantly enhanced at the invasion front of control tumors after LITT compared to hepatic resection.

Conclusions: Our results suggest that LITT increases the immune response against untreated intrahepatic tumor tissue, which can lead to reduced tumor growth.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Hepatectomy*
  • Hyperthermia, Induced*
  • Laser Therapy*
  • Liver Neoplasms / immunology*
  • Liver Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Male
  • Neoplasm, Residual / immunology
  • Rats