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March 1991

Antiproliferative Effects of Cytokines on Squamous Cell Carcinoma

Author Affiliations

From the Departments of Otolaryngology (Drs Sacchi, Klapan, and Johnson) and Pathology (Dr Whiteside), University of Pittsburgh (Pa) School of Medicine; and Pittsburgh (Pa) Cancer Institute (Drs Sacchi, Klapan, Johnson, and Whiteside).

Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1991;117(3):321-326. doi:10.1001/archotol.1991.01870150089012

• A panel of 12 squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck (SCCHN) cell lines has been used to determine sensitivity of tumor cells to cytokines, tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α), interferon gamma (IFN-γ), and interferon alfa (IFN-α) in vitro. Antiproliferative activity of these cytokines on squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck monolayers was measured in a colorimetric MTT [3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2yl)-2,5-diphenyl tetrazolium bromide]-based assay. All 12 cell lines tested were sensitive to IFN-γ, with the 50% inhibitory dose (ID50) ranging from 0.07 ± 0.001 to 104 ± 4.6 U/mL. The TNF-α showed antiproliferative activity on three cell lines at relatively high doses (ID50 from 55 ± 4.1 to 847.10 ± 10 U/mL), and IFN-α was growth inhibitory in only one line (ID50 = 1211 ± 46.2 U/mL). The combination of IFN-γ and TNF-α had a synergistic antiproliferative effect on eight cell lines and an additive effect on two cell lines. In two cell lines, the effect of the combination was equal to that of IFN-γ alone. A combination of IFN-α and TNF-α resulted in cell growth inhibition in six of the seven lines tested, and this effect was synergistic. These in vitro studies indicate that combinations of IFN-γ and TNF-α or IFN-α and TNF-α may be more growth inhibitory against squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck and at lower doses than each of these cytokines used singly.

(Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1991;117:321-326)

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