We have studied the effect of extracorporeally applied high-energy shock waves (HESW) on blood flow in amelanotic melanomas (A-Mel-3). Two tumors were implanted in the dorsal skin of 21 Syrian golden hamsters. One of the tumors was treated with 200 HESW, and the other served as an intraindividual control. Mean blood flow in the whole tumor, or the tumor excluding necrotic areas, was quantitatively measured using autoradiography with iodo[14C]antipyrine at 30 min (n = 5), 1 h (n = 5), 3 h (n = 5), and 12 h (n = 6) after HESW treatment. As measured for the whole tumor, blood flow in the controls was 23.4 ± 7.9 ml/100 g/min (median ± SE) and thus in the range reported in the literature. Thirty min or 1 h after the application of HESW, tumor perfusion was reduced to 6 ± 4% or 5 ± 4% (median ± SE) of the corresponding controls, respectively. Three h after treatment, perfusion increased slightly to 7 ± 5% and after 12 h increased significantly to 55 ± 25% of the corresponding controls. Values measured excluding the necrotic areas were higher in all groups. Temporary reduction of tumor perfusion after treatment with HESW was interpreted as a consequence of HESW-induced damage to tumor microcirculation. These effects should be taken into account for maximizing the therapeutic efficiency of HESW on tumors and for combining HESW treatment with other therapeutical modalities.


Supported by grants of the Bundesministerium für Forschung und Technologie (0706903 A5) and the Kurt Körber Stiftung.

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