Prevention of tumor seeding during needle biopsy by chemotherapeutic-releasing gelatin sticks

Oncotarget. 2017 Apr 18;8(16):25955-25962. doi: 10.18632/oncotarget.15427.


Needle biopsy is an indispensable diagnostic tool in obtaining tumor tissue for diagnostic examination. Tumor cell seeding in the needle track during percutaneous needle biopsies has been reported for various types of cancers. The mechanical force of the biopsy both directly displaces the malignant cells and causes bleeding and fluid movement that can further disseminate cells. To prevent the risk of tumor cell seeding during biopsy, we developed a gelatin stick loaded with chemotherapeutics such as doxorubicin (DXR) that was inserted into the biopsy canal. The gelatin-doxorubicin sticks (GDSs) were created by passively loading precut gelatin foam strips (Gelfoam) with doxorubicin solution. The dried GDSs were inserted into the needle track through the sheath during the needle biopsy and eventually self-absorbed. We showed that this procedure prevented iatrogenic tumor seeding during needle biopsies in two subcutaneous tumor models. In an alternative application, using GDSs in intracranial brain tumor implantation avoided the outgrowth of tumor from the rodent brain, which could otherwise potentially fuse the tumor with the meninges and distort the results in therapeutic studies in rodent brain tumor models.

Keywords: biopsy; brain tumor; gelatin stick; intracranial implantation; tumor seeding.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antineoplastic Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Biopsy, Needle / adverse effects
  • Biopsy, Needle / instrumentation*
  • Biopsy, Needle / methods*
  • Brain Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Brain Neoplasms / mortality
  • Brain Neoplasms / pathology
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Doxorubicin / administration & dosage
  • Female
  • Gelatin* / chemistry
  • Humans
  • Mice
  • Neoplasm Seeding*


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Doxorubicin
  • Gelatin