Histoplasty Modification of the Tumor Microenvironment in a Murine Preclinical Model of Breast Cancer

J Vasc Interv Radiol. 2024 Jun;35(6):900-908.e2. doi: 10.1016/j.jvir.2024.03.012. Epub 2024 Mar 18.


Purpose: To develop a noninvasive therapeutic approach able to alter the biophysical organization and physiology of the extracellular matrix (ECM) in breast cancer.

Materials and methods: In a 4T1 murine model of breast cancer, histoplasty treatment with a proprietary 700-kHz multielement therapy transducer using a coaxially aligned ultrasound (US) imaging probe was used to target the center of an ex vivo tumor and deliver subablative acoustic energy. Tumor collagen morphology was qualitatively evaluated before and after histoplasty with second harmonic generation. Separately, mice bearing bilateral 4T1 tumors (n = 4; total tumors = 8) were intravenously injected with liposomal doxorubicin. The right flank tumor was histoplasty-treated, and tumors were fluorescently imaged to detect doxorubicin uptake after histoplasty treatment. Next, 4T1 tumor-bearing mice were randomized into 2 treatment groups (sham vs histoplasty, n = 3 per group). Forty-eight hours after sham/histoplasty treatment, tumors were harvested and analyzed using flow cytometry.

Results: Histoplasty significantly increased (P = .002) liposomal doxorubicin diffusion into 4T1 tumors compared with untreated tumors (2.12- vs 1.66-fold increase over control). Flow cytometry on histoplasty-treated tumors (n = 3) demonstrated a significant increase in tumor macrophage frequency (42% of CD45 vs 33%; P = .022) and a significant decrease in myeloid-derived suppressive cell frequency (7.1% of CD45 vs 10.3%; P = .044). Histoplasty-treated tumors demonstrated increased CD8+ (5.1% of CD45 vs 3.1%; P = .117) and CD4+ (14.1% of CD45 vs 11.8%; P = .075) T-cell frequency.

Conclusions: Histoplasty is a nonablative focused US approach to noninvasively modify the tumor ECM, increase chemotherapeutic uptake, and alter the tumor immune microenvironment.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antibiotics, Antineoplastic / administration & dosage
  • Antibiotics, Antineoplastic / pharmacology
  • Breast Neoplasms / pathology
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Doxorubicin* / administration & dosage
  • Doxorubicin* / analogs & derivatives
  • Doxorubicin* / pharmacology
  • Extracellular Matrix / metabolism
  • Extracellular Matrix / pathology
  • Female
  • Leukocyte Common Antigens
  • Mammary Neoplasms, Experimental / diagnostic imaging
  • Mammary Neoplasms, Experimental / drug therapy
  • Mammary Neoplasms, Experimental / metabolism
  • Mammary Neoplasms, Experimental / pathology
  • Mammary Neoplasms, Experimental / surgery
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C*
  • Polyethylene Glycols / chemistry
  • Transducers
  • Tumor Microenvironment*


  • Doxorubicin
  • liposomal doxorubicin
  • Antibiotics, Antineoplastic
  • Polyethylene Glycols
  • Ptprc protein, mouse
  • Leukocyte Common Antigens