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J Hepatol. 2004 Nov;41(5):782-9.

Interferon-alphaCon1 suppresses proliferation of liver cancer cell lines in vitro and in vivo.

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Department of Pathology, Kurume University School of Medicine, Research Center of Innovative Cancer Therapy of the 21 Century COE Program for Medical Science, Kurume University, 67 Asahi-machi, 830-0011 Kurume, Japan.



We investigated the effects of consensus interferon (IFN-alphaCon1), a nonnaturally occurring type I interferon with higher specific activity than other type I IFNs, on the growth of human liver cancer cells.


The effect of IFN-alphaCon1 on the proliferation of 13 liver cancer cell lines was investigated in vitro. Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) cells (KIM-1 and HAK-1B) were transplanted subcutaneously into the back of nude mice, then IFN-alphaCon1 was subcutaneously administered to the mice once a day for 2 weeks, and tumor volume and histology were examined.


IFN-alphaCon1 expressed a dose-dependent growth inhibitory effect in all cell lines in vitro. KIM-1 tumor volume in mice that received 0.01 microg (10(4)IU)/mouse/day of IFN-alphaCon1 (similar to the clinical dose for chronic hepatitis C) was 62% of the control, 0.1microg/mouse/day resulted in 26%, and 1 microg/mouse/day resulted in 10%. HAK-1B tumor volume under the same treatment was 61, 24 and 0% of the control, respectively. The number of apoptotic cells significantly increased and the number of blood vessels significantly decreased with the increase in IFN-alphaCon1 dose.


IFN-alphaCon1 suppressed HCC growth in nude mice. These data indicate the potential clinical application of IFN-alphaCon1 in the prevention and treatment of HCC.

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