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Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2013 Jul 1;86(3):469-76. doi: 10.1016/j.ijrobp.2013.02.015. Epub 2013 Mar 26.

In vitro and in vivo enhancement of chemoradiation using the oral PARP inhibitor ABT-888 in colorectal cancer cells.

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Department of Radiation Oncology, Winship Cancer Institute, Emory University, Atlanta, GA 30322, USA.



Poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase plays a critical role in the recognition and repair of DNA single-strand breaks and double-strand breaks (DSBs). ABT-888 is an orally available inhibitor of this enzyme. This study seeks to evaluate the use of ABT-888 combined with chemotherapy and radiation therapy (RT) in colorectal carcinoma models.


RT clonogenic assays were performed on HCT116 and HT29 cells treated with 5-fluorouracil, irinotecan, or oxaliplatin with or without ABT. The surviving fraction at 2 Gy and dose-modifying factor at 10% survival were analyzed. Synergism was assessed by isobologram analysis for combination therapies. γH2AX and neutral comet assays were performed to assess the effect of therapy on DSB formation/repair. In vivo assessments were made by use of HCT116 cells in a xenograft mouse model. Tumor growth delay was measured at a volume of 500 mm(3).


Both lines were radiosensitized by ABT alone, and ABT further increased chemotherapy dose-modifying factors to the 1.6 to 1.8 range. All combinations were synergistic (combination indices <0.9). ABT treatment significantly increased DSB after RT (γH2AX, 69% vs 43%; P=.017) and delayed repair. We found tumor growth delays of 7.22 days for RT; 11.90 days for RT and ABT; 13.5 days for oxaliplatin, RT, and ABT; 14.17 days for 5-fluorouracil, RT, and ABT; and 23.81 days for irinotecan, RT, and ABT.


ABT-888 radiosensitizes at similar or higher levels compared with classic chemotherapies and acts synergistically with these chemotherapies to enhance RT effects. In vivo confirmation of these results indicates a potential role for combining its use with existing chemoradiation regimens.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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