Experimental evidence suggests that carcinostatic drugs do not prevent or diminish dissemination of cancer cells released during tumor resection.
The use of such agents to reduce or prevent surgically induced metastasis has been suggested by some investigators, but reports of the effectiveness of such adjunctive therapy have been conflicting, Gerald E. Howe, MD, said, in a report to the multidiscipline research forum.
To evaluate three carcinostatic agents in preventing tumor cell spread, Dr. Howe and William M. Stahl, MD, both of the University of Vermont College of Medicine, Burlington, tested their effect upon cell uptake in regional lymph nodes.
Since the regional lymph node is one of the primary systemic defenses against the spread of tumor cells, any adverse effect on its ability to trap cells would contraindicate the use of such drugs as an adjunct to cancer surgery.
Single intravenous injections of Thio-Tepa, fluorouracil or methotrexate were given dogs,