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Antihormonal agents as a strategy to improve the effect of chemo-radiation in cervical cancer: in vitro and in vivo study.

BMC cancer (2015-01-28)
Mariana Segovia-Mendoza, Rafael Jurado, Roser Mir, Luis A Medina, Heriberto Prado-Garcia, Patricia Garcia-Lopez
ABSTRACT

Over the past few years, the concurrent use of cisplatin-based chemotherapy and radiation therapy has dramatically improved the local response and increased overall survival in early-stage cervical cancer. However, for the advanced stages of the disease this standard treatment has proved insufficient. We investigated the capacity of Mifepristone and ICI 182,780, which are anti-progestin and anti-estrogen drugs, respectively, to act as chemo-radiosensitizing agents in cervical cancer cells and cervix xenografts. The effect of chemo-radiation alone or combined with Mifepristone or ICI 182,780 was evaluated in HeLa cells and with tumor growth in cervix xenografts. After concomitant chemo-radiotherapy, the effect of each of these antihormonal agents on apoptosis (determined by Annexing V assay) and the cell cycle phases were determined by flow cytometry. The expression of angiogenic factor VEGF in tumor samples was determined using quantitative RT-PCR analysis of VEGF gene expression. Compared to radiation alone or radiation/cisplatin therapy, there was significantly higher cytotoxicity and a greater antitumoral effect with the combined application of radiation/cisplatin and Mifepristone or ICI 182,780. Analyses of the apoptosis and cell cycle demonstrated changes only with ICI, not with Mifepristone, when was applied in combination with radiation/cisplatin. The analysis of VEGF mRNA expression levels in tumors at the end of the study demonstrated a significant inhibition, compared to radiation only or the radiation/cisplatin treatment, after concurrent chemo-radiotherapy and each one of the antihormonal drugs. Mifepristone and ICI 182,780 may be potentially promising chemo-radiosensitizing compounds to be used in combination with ionizing irradiation and cisplatin in the treatment of patients with advanced cervical cancer.

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