Ablative and Immunostimulatory Effects of Histotripsy Ablation in a Murine Osteosarcoma Model
Background: Osteosarcoma (OS) is the most frequently occurring malignant bone tumor in humans, primarily affecting children and adolescents. Significant advancements in treatment options for OS have not occurred in the last several decades, and the prognosis remains grim with only a 70% rate of 5-year survival. The objective of this study was to investigate the focused ultrasound technique of histotripsy as a novel, noninvasive treatment option for OS. Methods: We utilized a heterotopic OS murine model to establish the feasibility of ablating OS tumors with histotripsy in a preclinical setting. We investigated the local immune response within the tumor microenvironment (TME) via immune cell phenotyping and gene expression analysis. Findings: We established the feasibility of ablating heterotopic OS tumors with ablation characterized microscopically by loss of cellular architecture in targeted regions of tumors. We observed greater populations of macrophages and dendritic cells within treated tumors and the upregulation of immune activating genes 72 h after histotripsy ablation. Interpretation: This study was the first to investigate histotripsy ablation for OS in a preclinical murine model, with results suggesting local immunomodulation within the TME. Our results support the continued investigation of histotripsy as a novel noninvasive treatment option for OS patients to improve clinical outcomes and patient prognosis.