Laboratory Research

Annals of Surgical Oncology

, Volume 14, Issue 8, pp 2411-2421

First online:

Use of an Artificial Lymphatic System During Carboplatin Infusion to Improve Canine Osteosarcoma Blood Flow and Clinical Response

  • Gene R. DiRestaAffiliated withOrthopaedic Surgical Service, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center Email author 
  • , Sean W. AikenAffiliated withThe Animal Medical Center
  • , Holly K. BrownAffiliated withOrthopaedic Surgical Service, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
  • , Philip J. BergmanAffiliated withThe Animal Medical Center
  • , Ann HohenhausAffiliated withThe Animal Medical Center
  • , E. J. EhrhartAffiliated withCollege of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Science, Colorado State University
  • , Keith BaerAffiliated withThe Animal Medical Center
  • , John H. HealeyAffiliated withOrthopaedic Surgical Service, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center

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The artificial lymphatic system (ALS), a mechanical system designed to reduce increased interstitial fluid pressure in solid tumors and enhance the delivery of chemotherapy, was evaluated within a randomized clinical trial treating spontaneously occurring canine appendicular osteosarcoma (OS), a tumor similar to its human OS counterpart.


An ALS was investigated for its ability to increase OS blood flow and increase uptake of intravenously administered carboplatin.


Blood flow increased by 314% in tumors with active ALS drains versus 126% in control tumors (P < .03). Tumor carboplatin uptake increased by 51% after drain activation (P = .07). Microvascular density (MVD) was measured in tumors after surgical amputation and in corresponding bone regions in a cohort of normal dogs. The OS tumors had equivalent MVD as normal bone, and MVD was higher in the humerus than the femur (P < .03) in both tumor and normal bone. Median survival between the ALS-treated and control cohorts was not different despite increased drug uptake or ALS manipulation. Compared with historic controls, ALS drain insertion into tumors to reduce interstitial fluid pressure did not worsen the prognosis.


The findings in canine spontaneously occurring OS indicate that an ALS may be of value as a chemotherapy adjunct for enhancing the delivery of chemotherapy to tumor interstitium.


Osteosarcoma Carboplatin Blood flow Interstitial fluid pressure Microvessel density Canine Artificial lymphatic system