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Cisplatin and photodynamic therapy exert synergistic inhibitory effects on small-cell lung cancer cell viability and xenograft tumor growth

Chen, You-Shuang, Peng, Yin-Bo, Yao, Min, Teng, Ji-Ping, Ni, Da, Zhu, Zhi-Jun, Zhuang, Bu-Feng, Yang, Zhi-Yin
Biochemical and biophysical research communications 2017
adverse effects, cell death, cell movement, cell viability, cisplatin, cytotoxicity, death, dose response, humans, in vitro culture, lung neoplasms, models, patients, photochemotherapy, radiotherapy, staining, survival rate, synergism
Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death worldwide. Small-cell lung cancer (SCLC) is an aggressive type of lung cancer that shows an overall 5-year survival rate below 10%. Although chemotherapy using cisplatin has been proven effective in SCLC treatment, conventional dose of cisplatin causes adverse side effects. Photodynamic therapy, a form of non-ionizing radiation therapy, is increasingly used alone or in combination with other therapeutics in cancer treatment. Herein, we aimed to address whether low dose cisplatin combination with PDT can effectively induce SCLC cell death by using in vitro cultured human SCLC NCI-H446 cells and in vivo tumor xenograft model. We found that both cisplatin and PDT showed dose-dependent cytotoxic effects in NCI-H446 cells. Importantly, co-treatment with low dose cisplatin (1 μM) and PDT (1.25 J/cm2) synergistically inhibited cell viability and cell migration. We further showed that the combined therapy induced a higher level of intracellular ROS in cultured NCI-H446 cells. Moreover, the synergistic effect by cisplatin and PDT was recapitulated in tumor xenograft as revealed by a more robust increase in the staining of TUNEL (a marker of cell death) and decrease in tumor volume. Taken together, our findings suggest that low dose cisplatin combination with PDT can be an effective therapeutic modality in the treatment of SCLC patients.