Pancreatic cancer is characterized by extensive stromal desmoplasia, which decreases blood perfusion and impedes chemotherapy delivery. Breaking the stromal barrier could both increase perfusion and permeabilize the tumor, enhancing chemotherapy penetration. Mechanical disruption of the stroma can be achieved using ultrasound-induced bubble activity-cavitation. Cavitation is also known to result in microstreaming and could have the added benefit of actively enhancing diffusion into the tumors. Here, we report the ability to enhance chemotherapeutic drug doxorubicin penetration using ultrasound-induced cavitation in a genetically engineered mouse model (KPC mouse) of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma. To induce localized inertial cavitation in pancreatic tumors, pulsed high-intensity focused ultrasound (pHIFU) was used either during or before doxorubicin administration to elucidate the mechanisms of enhanced drug delivery (active vs. passive drug diffusion). For both types, the pHIFU exposures that were associated with high cavitation activity resulted in disruption of the highly fibrotic stromal matrix and enhanced the normalized doxorubicin concentration by up to 4.5-fold compared with controls. Furthermore, normalized doxorubicin concentration was associated with the cavitation metrics (P < 0.01), indicating that high and sustained cavitation results in increased chemotherapy penetration. No significant difference between the outcomes of the two types, that is, doxorubicin infusion during or after pHIFU treatment, was observed, suggesting that passive diffusion into previously permeabilized tissue is the major mechanism for the increase in drug concentration. Together, the data indicate that pHIFU treatment of pancreatic tumors when resulting in high and sustained cavitation can efficiently enhance chemotherapy delivery to pancreatic tumors. .
View details for DOI 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-15-0296
View details for Web of Science ID 000363335800010
View details for PubMedID 26216548
View details for PubMedCentralID PMC4629806