The objective of the present study was to investigate the treatment of 9L gliosarcoma brain tumor in the rat with the combination of surgical resection and photodynamic therapy (PDT). Nude rats with intracranial 7-day-old 9L gliomas were randomly subjected to no treatment, PDT alone (Photofrin®: 2 mg kg−1, optical: 80 J cm−2), surgical resection alone or resection combined with 2 mg kg−1 Photofrin®-mediated PDT at an optical dose of 80 J cm−2. All animals were sacrificed 14 days after tumor implantation. Hematoxylin-and-eosin and immunohistochemical stainings were performed to assess the tumor volume and the expression of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) in the brain adjacent to the tumor (BAT) as well as the tumor cell apoptosis and proliferation. Our data show that both surgical resection alone and PDT alone significantly decreased tumor volume, but furthermore, surgical resection combined with PDT significantly reduced the tumor volume and reduced local tumor infiltration compared to either surgical resection or PDT treatment alone. PDT treatment with or without resection increased tumor apoptosis, but resection alone did not alter the tumor cell apoptosis compared with a nontreatment control group. Both surgical resection alone and PDT alone induced a significant increase in VEGF expression in the BAT; however intraoperative PDT did not further increase VEGF expression, compared with surgery alone or PDT alone. No significant differences were found in tumor cell proliferation as indicated by Ki67 immunoreactivity among the four groups. Our results suggest that PDT enhances the efficacy of surgical resection in the management of malignant gliomas without increasing VEGF expression in the BAT.
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Vol. 82 • No. 6