Radiofrequency thermal ablation of breast tumors combined with intralesional administration of IL-7 and IL-15 augments anti-tumor immune responses and inhibits tumor development and metastasis

Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2009 Apr;114(3):423-31. doi: 10.1007/s10549-008-0024-3. Epub 2008 Apr 20.


Tumor development or recurrence is always a matter of concern following radiofrequency thermal ablation (RFA) of tumors. To determine whether combining RFA with immunologically active cytokines might induce tumor-specific immune responses against mammary carcinoma and inhibit tumor development or metastasis, we evaluated intralesional injection of IL-7 and IL-15 in RFA-treated murine tumors. We used two different breast carcinoma models: neu-overexpressing mouse mammary carcinoma (MMC) in FVBN202 transgenic mouse and 4T1 tumors in Balb/c mouse. MMC tend to relapse even in the presence of neu-specific immune responses, and 4T1 is a weakly immunogenic, aggressive and highly metastatic transplantable tumor. In vivo growth of both of these tumors is also associated with increased numbers of CD11b+Gr1+ myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSC). We showed for the first time that unlike RFA alone, RFA combined with the administration of intralesional IL-7 and IL-15 (after RFA), induced immune responses to tumors, inhibited tumor development and lung metastasis, and reduced MDSC.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antineoplastic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Catheter Ablation / methods
  • Female
  • Immune System
  • Immunotherapy / methods
  • Interferon-gamma / metabolism
  • Interleukin-15 / therapeutic use*
  • Interleukin-7 / therapeutic use*
  • Mammary Neoplasms, Animal / therapy*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Neoplasm Metastasis
  • Rats


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Interleukin-15
  • Interleukin-7
  • Interferon-gamma