With the use of fresh, undiluted ascitic fluid of three strains of the ascites hepatoma, AH 130, AH 602, and AH 7974, comparative observations on the motility of living tumor cells were performed. Furthermore, the relationship between the motility of tumor cells and the invasive growth or metastatic spread was studied.
Distinct differences were observed in the cell motility among these three strains. AH 130 showed the most active motility, AH 7974 a moderate, and AH 602 the least.
The tumor strain containing the greatest number of separated free-tumor cells as well as “hepatoma islands” showed more active motility.
When the three tumor strains were each inoculated into the peritoneal cavity of rats, the more active tumor strain with regard to cell motility invaded the surrounding tissues sooner after inoculation than the less active; also, the median survival time of host animals inoculated with the more active tumor strain was shorter than that of the others.
In the autopsy findings on rats which were allowed to die spontaneously of tumor, good correlation was observed between the motility of tumor cells and the intensity of invasive growth or metastatic frequency.
Furthermore, metastasis via lymph vessels was always observed more frequently than that via the bloodstream, without regard to tumor strain, when the ascites hepatomas were inoculated into the peritoneal cavity of rats.