Lymph node (LN) metastasis through the lymphatic network is a major route for cancer dissemination. Tumor cells reach the marginal sinuses of LNs via afferent lymphatic vessels (LVs) and form metastatic lesions that lead to distant metastasis. Thus, targeting of metastatic cells in the marginal sinuses could improve cancer treatment outcomes. Here, we investigated whether lymphatic administration of a drug combined with sonoporation could be used to treat a LN containing proliferating murine FM3A breast cancer cells, which are highly invasive, in its marginal sinus. First, we used contrast-enhanced high-frequency ultrasound and histopathology to analyze the structure of LVs in MXH10/Mo-lpr/lpr mice, which exhibit systemic lymphadenopathy. We found that contrast agent injected into the subiliac LN flowed into the marginal sinus of the proper axillary LN (PALN) and reached the cortex. Next, we examined the anti-tumor effects of our proposed technique. We found that a strong anti-tumor effect was achieved by lymphatic administration of doxorubicin and sonoporation. Furthermore, our proposed method prevented tumor cells in the marginal sinus from invading the parenchyma of the PALN and resulted in tumor necrosis. We conclude that lymphatic administration of a drug combined with sonoporation could exert a curative effect in LNs containing metastatic cells in their marginal sinuses.
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