Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Summary In an attempt to find how much the low therapeutic effectiveness of antitumor drugs against so-called chemotherapy-refractory tumors such as colon carcinoma depends on drug sensitivity at the cellular level, sensitivity of five carcinoma cell lines (three colorectal, one pancreatic, and one renal) to nine typical anticancer agents was compared in vitro with that of four generally chemotherapysusceptible leukemia cell lines. Sensitivity was assesed in terms of the percentage cell growth in control cultures, which was determined by exposing exponentially growing cells for 48 h to the following antitumor drugs: 1-(4-amino-2-methylpyridine-5-yl)-methyl-3-(2-chloroethyl)3-nitrosourea hydrochloride (ACNU), adriamycin (ADM), bleomycin (BLM), cisplatin (DDP), etoposide (VP-16), 5-fluorouracil (5FU), mitomycin C (MMC), methotrexate (MTX), and vinblastine (VLB). As expected, 10-fold or greater differences in sensitivity were scarcely ever observed between the two kinds of cell lines. Thus, we recorded a result of more (or less) sensitivity when there was a difference of 3-fold or more; and compared the drug sensitivity in every pair of carcinoma and leukemia cell lines (20 pairs for each drug). We found that carcinoma cell lines were less sensitive to VP-16, ADM, DDP, and MTX than leukemia cell lines in 18, 15, 12, and 10 of 20 pairs, respectively; only one opposite case was observed, with DDP. On the other hand, no such tendency between the two groups was observed with BLM, 5FU, or MMC. Overall, significantly different sensitivities were observed between them in 91 out of 180 pairs (i.e., 9 antitumor drugsx5 carcinomasx4 leukemias), and carcinoma cell lines were less sensitive than leukemia cell lines in 79 of these 91 pairs. These results suggest that the refractoriness of colon carcinoma, etc. to chemotherapy is, at least in part, due to low drug sensitivity of the tumor cell itself.
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