Lymphatic metastasis is common in advanced-stage carcinoma and is associated with a poor prognosis. However, few effective treatments to inhibit it are available. Z-100 is an immunomodulatory extract of Mycobacterium tuberculosis strain Aoyama B that contains polysaccharides such as arabinomannan and mannan. Here, we investigated the inhibitory effect of Z-100 on spontaneous lymphatic metastasis. C57BL/6N mice injected subcutaneously with B16-BL6 melanoma cells in the right hind footpad were administered Z-100 subcutaneously in the right inguinal region on a daily basis. On day twenty-one after the injection, the right inguinal lymph nodes were excised, and the extent of metastasis, the number of immune cells, and the amount of granzyme B protein in the lymph nodes were examined. We also investigated the combined effect of Z-100 and irradiation in this model. Results showed that Z-100 reduced number of animals with metastasis, with respective metastasis rates of 85.7%, 42.9%, 7.1% and 0.0% in saline, 0.1 mg/kg Z-100, 1 mg/kg Z-100 and 10 mg/kg Z-100 group. Further, mice that had been given Z-100 were found to have more immune cells and granzyme B protein in the lymph nodes than control mice. The combination of low dose Z-100 and irradiation also inhibited spontaneous lymph node metastases. These findings suggest that Z-100 may be beneficial in preventing lymphatic metastasis by enhancing the immune response.
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