Isolated perfusion of the extremities with high-dose tumour necrosis factor α (TNF-α) plus melphalan leads to dramatic tumour response in patients with irresectable soft tissue sarcoma or multiple melanoma in transit metastases. We developed in vivo isolated organ perfusion models to determine whether similar tumour responses in solid organ tumours can be obtained with this regimen. Here, we describe the technique of isolated kidney perfusion. We studied the feasibility of a perfusion with TNF-α and assessed its anti-tumour effects in tumour models differing in tumour vasculature. The maximal tolerated dose (MTD) proved to be only 1 μg TNF-α. Higher doses appeared to induce renal failure and a secondary cytokine release with fatal respiratory and septic shock-like symptoms. In vitro, the combination of TNF-α and melphalan did not result in a synergistic growth-inhibiting effect on CC 531 colon adenocarcinoma cells, whereas an additive effect was observed on osteosarcoma ROS-1 cells. In vivo isolated kidney perfusion, with TNF-α alone or in combination with melphalan, did not result in a significant anti-tumour response in either tumour model in a subrenal capsule assay. We conclude that, because of the susceptibility of the kidney to perfusion with TNF-α, the minimal threshold concentration of TNF-α to exert its anti-tumour effects was not reached. The applicability of TNF-α in isolated kidney perfusion for human tumours seems, therefore, questionable.

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Keywords Isolated kidney perfusion, Rats, Tumour necrosis factor α
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Journal British Journal of Cancer
van der Veen, A.H, Seynhaeve, A.L.B, Breurs, J, Nooijen, P.T.G.A, Marquet, R.L, & Eggermont, A.M.M. (1999). In vivo isolated kidney perfusion with tumour necrosis factor α (TNF-α) in tumour-bearing rats. British Journal of Cancer, 79(3-4), 433–439. doi:10.1038/sj.bjc.6690067