Radiofrequency thermal ablation of breast tumors combined with intralesional administration of IL-7 and IL-15 augments anti-tumor immune responses and inhibits tumor development and metastasis

Mehran Habibi, MacIej Kmieciak, Laura Graham, Johanna K. Morales, Harry D. Bear, Masoud H. Manjili

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Tumor development or recurrence is always a matter of concern following radiofrequency thermal ablation (RFA) of tumors. To determine whether combining RFA with immunologically active cytokines might induce tumor-specific immune responses against mammary carcinoma and inhibit tumor development or metastasis, we evaluated intralesional injection of IL-7 and IL-15 in RFA-treated murine tumors. We used two different breast carcinoma models: neu-overexpressing mouse mammary carcinoma (MMC) in FVBN202 transgenic mouse and 4T1 tumors in Balb/c mouse. MMC tend to relapse even in the presence of neu-specific immune responses, and 4T1 is a weakly immunogenic, aggressive and highly metastatic transplantable tumor. In vivo growth of both of these tumors is also associated with increased numbers of CD11b+Gr1+ myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSC). We showed for the first time that unlike RFA alone, RFA combined with the administration of intralesional IL-7 and IL-15 (after RFA), induced immune responses to tumors, inhibited tumor development and lung metastasis, and reduced MDSC.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)423-431
Number of pages9
JournalBreast Cancer Research and Treatment
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2009
Externally publishedYes



  • Breast cancer
  • Immunotherapy
  • Interleukin 15 (IL-15)
  • Interleukin-7 (IL-7)
  • Myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSC)
  • Radiofrequency thermal ablation (RFA)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

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