Vitamin e enhances the chemotherapeutic effects of adriamycin on human prostatic carcinoma cells in vitro

Ripoll, E.A.; Rama, B.N.; Webber, M.M.

Journal of Urology 136(2): 529-531


ISSN/ISBN: 0022-5347
PMID: 3735528
DOI: 10.1016/s0022-5347(17)44937-8
Accession: 006909650

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Vitamin E (tocopherol) enhances the growth inhibitory effects of adriamycin (ADR) on a variety of cancer cells in vitro. The role of vitamin E (d-alpha-tocopheryl) acid succinate in adjuvant chemotherapy with ADR was assessed in DU-145 human prostatic carcinoma cells in culture. Adriamycin produced a dose-dependent growth inhibition of DU-145 cells. The ID50 of DU-145 cells on the criteria: of clonal assay was 13 ng./ml. and of cell count assay was 14 ng./ml. Vitamin E succinate also inhibited the growth of DU-145 human prostatic carcinoma cells in a dose-dependent manner. 4.4 micrograms./ml. and 5.4 micrograms./ml. vitamin E succinate in the culture medium produced inhibition of growth to 50 per cent of control (ID50) in the clonal and the cell count assays respectively. When adriamycin and vitamin E succinate were used in combination, both additive and synergistic effects were observed, depending on the concentration of vitamin E succinate used. Doses of vitamin E succinate greater than its ID50 had a synergistic effect while doses smaller than its ID50 had an additive effect. In either case, the presence of vitamin E succinate caused an enhancement of tumor cell cytotoxicity of adriamycin while decreasing its ID50. Equivalent concentrations of sodium succinate and ethanol used to dissolve vitamin E succinate did not have any effect on DU-145 cells. Thus, it is concluded that the effect of vitamin E succinate is due to vitamin E and not due to succinate or ethanol. These results suggest that vitamin E may have a role in the treatment of human prostatic cancer as an adjuvant agent to adriamycin.