Object. To determine if the combination of radiosurgery and tumor cell vaccine would enhance the therapy of metastatic lesions of the central nervous system (CNS), the authors examined the antitumoral effects of radiosurgery and cytokine-transduced tumor cell vaccine.
Methods. Fifty-five rats underwent intracranial implantation of 5 × 103 MADB106 cells. On Day 3 after tumor implantation, 34 rats were inoculated in the flank with nonirradiated MADB106 cells that had been retrovirally transduced to express granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor or interleukin-4. Twenty-seven rats (17 animals that had received the vaccine and 10 that had not) underwent radiosurgery performed using a gamma knife at maximum doses of 32 Gy on Day 5.
No animals in the untreated group or in the vaccine-alone groups survived longer than 21 days. Animals treated by radiosurgery alone displayed prolonged survival in comparison with untreated animals (p < 0.0001), but only one of 10 animals survived longer than 55 days. In contrast, 14 of 17 animals that received the combination therapy of radiosurgery and vaccination survived longer than 55 days (p = 0.0003 compared with animals that underwent radiosurgery alone). On Day 55, the long-term survivors were challenged by parental MADB106 cells, which were implanted in the contralateral hemisphere. All animals from the combination therapy groups survived longer than 50 days after this challenge, but the single survivor from the radiosurgery-alone group died of tumor growth in 27 days.
Conclusions. The combination of radiosurgery and cytokine gene—transduced tumor cell vaccine markedly prolonged animal survival and protected animals from a subsequent challenge by parental tumor cells placed in the CNS. The data provided by this study indicate that this combination therapy represents a strategy that may have clinical applicability for single and/or multiple metastatic brain tumors.