Melanoma is one of the most aggressive tumors and is accompanied by the induction of local and systemic inflammatory responses. Combinations of chemotherapeutic agents with immunotherapy are therefore commonly used for melanoma treatment. A B16 melanoma model was used to study the tumor suppressive, immunostimulating, and hepatotoxic effects of a combination of a small double-stranded immunostimulatory RNA (isRNA) with 3′-trinucleotide overhangs and the cytotoxic drug dacarbazine compared with respective monotherapies. The drugs efficiently suppressed the tumor growth and acted synergistically. Histological and immunohistochemical examinations of tumor nodes showed that the combination of isRNA and dacarbazine significantly decreased mitotic activity and more efficiently increased apoptosis in tumor tissue as compared with either monotherapy. Regardless of the treatment regimen, signs of immune activation were observed in the spleen, including an increase in the number and diameter of lymphoid follicles and the volume density of the white pulp. Destructive changes were detected in the livers of nontreated animals with B16 melanoma. Administration of isRNA in combination with dacarbazine did not cause any additional damage to liver parenchyma, while stimulating regenerative processes in hepatic tissue of tumor-bearing animals.

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PubMed