Although paclitaxel is one of the most effective chemotherapeutic agents, its usefulness is still limited in advanced and recurrent endometrial cancer. Amifostine protection of normal tissues against the side effects of chemotherapeutic agents has been clinically proven in cancer patients; however, its application in endometrial cancer has not been fully evaluated. We have investigated the use of paclitaxel and amifostine in controlling the growth of poorly differentiated endometrial cancer cells, Hec50co, in vitro and in vivo. Our studies show that amifostine had direct anticancer effects on endometrial cancer cells in vitro by arresting the cell cycle at the G1 phase and inducing apoptosis. Amifostine also inhibited s.c. tumor growth in athymic mice. Paclitaxel IC50 value was reduced from 14 to 2 nmol/L with pretreatment of a single dose of 178 μmol/L of amifostine for 72 hours. Amifostine also synergized with paclitaxel in the arrest of the cell cycle at the G2-M phase and in the induction of apoptosis. This two-drug regimen inhibited s.c. tumor growth as well as improved mouse survival significantly more than paclitaxel alone. Amifostine also significantly improved paclitaxel-induced cytotoxic effects on peripheral blood profiles. Our studies show that amifostine has direct anticancer effects on endometrial cancer. Our data have also shown a potential anticancer synergy between amifostine and paclitaxel in vitro and in vivo, whereas amifostine maintained a protective role in peripheral blood profiles. The dual specificity of amifostine action should be further investigated.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research