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Correlation between size and external temperature

In four rat tumours after treatment with cytostatic agents

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The reduction in size of four experimental tumours (ISIS 130 and ISIS 208 immunocytomas, S 437 mammary adenocarcinoma, S 447 colon adenocarcinoma) was investigated in LOU rats under the influence of cytostatic agents belonging to different classes (5-fluorouracil, methotrexate, vinblastine, cisplatin, doxorubicin, cyclophosphamide). External tumour and rectal temperatures were measured at the same time, twice daily, during the whole experiment. With the rectal temperature of the rats kept constant, the reduction in tumour dimensions following chemotherapy correlated via a linear relationship with the duration and degree of tumour hypothermia for the three tumours S 437, ISIS 208, ISIS 130. However, for the same reduction in tumour volume following chemotherapy, the duration and degree of transient tumour hypothermia varied according to the type of tumour and cytostatic agent studied. There was not correlation between the decrease in size of S 447 and external tumour hypothermia. Even when the reduction in tumour size was statistically significant, the hypothermic tumour phase after drug administration was not sufficient to be significant, except for vinblastine. However, the temperature of this slowly growing tumour before chemotherapy was particularly low. The measurement of the degree and duration of external tumour hypothermia of tumours following chemotherapy would represent a new physiological technique for measuring the efficacy and duration of action of cytostatic agents.

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Correspondence to P. Nickers.

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Nickers, P., Oosters, L., Brasseur, F. et al. Correlation between size and external temperature. J Cancer Res Clin Oncol 114, 81–86 (1988).

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Key words

  • Tumour temperature
  • Chemotherapy