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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Enhancement of melphalan-induced tumour cell killing by misonidazole: an interaction of competing mechanisms.

  • Author(s): Horsman, M;
  • Evans, James;
  • Brown, J
  • et al.

In the present studies we have used the RIF-1 tumour in C3H mice to try to identify the mechanism(s) responsible for the enhancement of melphalan (L-PAM) induced tumour cell killing by the 2-nitroimidazole misonidazole (MISO). Most of this work was done with a single large dose of MISO (750 mg kg-1) given 30 min before injection of L-PAM. We found no effect of MISO on the repair of L-PAM-induced potentially lethal damage (PLD) as measured using an in vitro clonogenic survival assay. However, we identified three interrelated and competing processes which affect tumour cell killing by L-PAM subsequent to MISO injection. First, MISO reduces the clearance rate of L-PAM from the blood, an effect which enhances the cell killing by L-PAM. Second, MISO reduces the body temperature which produces a significant reduction in L-PAM cytotoxicity. Third, there is an enhancement of L-PAM cell killing by MISO over and above these two competing processes which is probably a result of the same mechanism by which cells in vitro are sensitized to L-PAM by pre-exposure to MISO under hypoxic conditions.

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