, Volume 10, Issue 10, pp 1184-1190

Interferon-β Is More Potent Than Interferon-α in Inhibition of Human Hepatocellular Carcinoma Cell Growth When Used Alone and in Combination With Anticancer Drugs

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Background:The prognosis of advanced hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is extremely poor, but promising effects of chemotherapies combined with interferon (IFN) have been reported.

Methods:To develop more effective combination therapies for HCC, we compared the antiproliferative effects of IFN-α and IFN-β in combination with various cytotoxic drugs on hepatoma cell lines using MTT assay and isobologram analysis.

Results:IFN-β was more potent than IFN-α in inhibiting the cell growth of all cell lines (P < .05, two-way ANOVA). PLC/PRF/5 was more sensitive to either IFN, than HLE and HuH7. Cell growth of all cell lines was inhibited in a dose-dependent manner by 5-fluorouracil (5-FU), cisplatin (CDDP), and doxorubicin (DOX), but the sensitivities of these cells were considerably different. As for IFN-α, synergistic effects were observed when combined with 5-FU and DOX on PLC/PRF/5 cells only, whereas IFN-β showed synergistic effects with 5-FU and CDDP on HuH7 and PLC/PRF/5 cell lines.

Conclusion:The spectra of the antiproliferative activity and synergistic effect of IFN-β when combined with anticancer drugs are more potent than those of IFN-α. Combinations of IFN-β and anticancer drugs may provide a better treatment of HCC when combinations with IFN-α are ineffective.

Presented at the 56th Annual Cancer Symposium of the Society of Surgical Oncology, Los Angeles, California, March 5–9, 2003.