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Int J Cancer. 1995 Nov 3;63(3):356-60.

Selective sensitivity of solid tumors to suramin in primary cultures of tumor cells from patients.

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Division of Clinical Pharmacology, University Hospital, Uppsala University, Sweden.


The antineoplastic activity of suramin is currently the subject of clinical trials. We therefore used the semi-automated fluorometric microculture cytotoxicity assay (FMCA) to evaluate the cytotoxicity of suramin in vitro in primary cultures of cells from patients with hematological or solid tumors. The activity patterns of some standard cytotoxic agents were included for comparison. A total of 159 samples were tested using continuous drug exposure. Suramin showed relatively high activity against solid tumors, with colorectal, adrenal and kidney carcinomas being the most sensitive, whereas hematological malignancies were more resistant. Suramin and standard drugs showed very low cross-resistance. The results indicate that suramin is differentially active against some solid tumors with comparatively little activity against hematological tumors. The study provides an experimental motive for evaluation of suramin therapy in patients with solid tumors and exploration of less toxic suramin analogues.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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