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In vitro cytotoxicity of human recombinant tumor necrosis factor α in association with radiotherapy in a human ovarian carcinoma cell line


It has been speculated that tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-alpha) may decrease the cytotoxicity of radiotherapy by increasing the scavenging of toxic superoxide radicals. Because of the possible clinical implications, the cytotoxicity of TNF-alpha in combination with radiotherapy (RT) was compared with that of RT alone in a human ovarian cancer cell line. NIH:OVCAR-3 cells were incubated with TNF-alpha at 10.0, 1.0, 0.1, and 0.01 microgram/ml. Plates were divided into two groups; one received 150 cGy of radiotherapy and the other received no further therapy. Seventy-two hours later, supernatants were aspirated and viable cells were stained with a 1% solution of crystal violet. Survival of cells treated with RT plus TNF-alpha was expressed as a percentage of surviving irradiated controls. Analysis of results revealed minimal additive cell killing effect between TNF-alpha and radiotherapy at all concentrations of tumor necrosis factor, with the greatest difference noted in the group treated with 10 micrograms/ml TNF-alpha. A continued radiotherapy dose-response study with TNF-alpha showed a similar additive, not radioprotective, effect. This may have implication as a potentiator of RT in some human tumors.

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