Percutaneous Tumor Ablation: Cryoablation Facilitates Targeting of Free Epirubicin–Ethanol–Ioversol Solution Interstitially Coinjected in a Rabbit VX2 Tumor Model

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This acute study was aimed at exploring the ability of a cryoablative lesion to drive the distribution of a concomitant in situ injection of a free epirubicin–ethanol–ethiodol–methylene blue mixture. We report the feasibility and safety of this new percutaneous computed tomography-guided combinatorial ablative procedure on VX2 tumors. Eight New Zealand white rabbits bearing 16 tumors on both side of the back muscle were randomly selected and treated on the same day with the following procedures: (1) 8 concomitant cryoablation and interstitial chemotherapy and (2) 8 intratumor marginal chemotherapy. For the latter, an injection needle was positioned at the inner distal margin of a first selected tumor side, where the chemotherapy was delivered during 5 serial sequences. For the concomitant therapy, a single cryoneedle maintained the ice front at the tumor margin, where a needle delivered the drug dose during 5 freeze–injection–thaw sequences. Enhanced computed tomography scans on days 3, 7, and 10 assessed the tumor contours and the tracer localization. Two rabbits were killed on days 0, 3, 7, and 10 for gross and histopathological analyses. During the concomitant therapy, ioversol was distributed at the tumor and iceball margins along with the methylene blue. Enhanced computed tomography on days 3, 7, and 10 showed a focal enlarging defect of the tumor marginal enhancing rim. The rim coincided with focal necrosis at histopathology. During the intratumor chemotherapy procedure, computed tomography showed that the tracers distributed mostly over the tumor mass. No marginal necrosis was detected at histopathology. On day 10, the tumor size for the intratumor chemotherapy group was twice that of the concomitant therapy group. No adverse events were observed. In this VX2 tumor model, our image-guided concomitant therapy is feasible and may enhance the effectiveness of a free epirubicin tracer mixture at the tumor margin.

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