Cancer Immunology, Immunotherapy

, Volume 29, Issue 1, pp 17–22

The anticancer drug, cisplatin, increases the naturally occurring cell-mediated lysis of tumor cells

  • John Leslie Collins
  • Ming-Shian Kao
Original Articles


It has been proposed that a component of the antitumor potential of the chemotherapeutic agent, cisplatin, resides in the host's ability to respond to cisplatintreated tumor cells. Here we report that tumor cells that are normally resistant to lysis mediated by naturally occurring cytotoxic cells showed an increased sensitivity to lysis mediated by murine spleen cells or human peripheral blood monocytes and lymphocytes when cisplatin was added at the beginning of the lytic assay. This was shown for the lysis of both murine and human tumor cells. The pretreatment of tumor cells, but not effector cells with cisplatin caused an increase in lysis in the presence of murine spleen cells or human peripheral blood leukocytes, indicating that the effect of cisplatin is to reduce resistance to lysis by these effector cells. The lysis of tumor cells by naturally occurring cytotoxic cells was blocked by antibodies specific for tumor necrosis factor. In addition, the ability of cisplatin to increase lysis was seen with cells that are sensitive to natural cytotoxic cells, but not with cells that are sensitive to natural killer cells. These results suggest that the effector cells that mediate the lysis of these tumor cells in the presence of cisplatin are likely to be natural cytotoxic cells. The ability of cisplatin to increase the lysis of tumor cells by naturally occurring cytotoxic cells indicates that these cells may be a host defense mechanism that contributes to the anticancer potential of cisplatin.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • John Leslie Collins
    • 1
  • Ming-Shian Kao
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Oncology DivisionWashington University School of MedicineSt. LouisUSA

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