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Combination of perfluorochemical emulsions and carbogen breathing with cancer chemotherapy.

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Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, MA.


Over the past ten years several laboratories have explored the use of perfluorochemical emulsions (PFCE) and carbogen (95% O2/5% CO2; C) or oxygen breathing as an adjuvant to radiation therapy and/or chemotherapy in solid tumor model systems. The rationale for the use of PFCE and C or oxygen breathing in this therapeutic setting is that solid tumor masses contain areas of hypoxia which are therapeutically resistant. Since x-rays and many chemotherapeutic agents require oxygen to be maximally cytotoxic and most normal tissues are well-oxygenated, the additional oxygen put in circulation by the PFCE/C should not increase the normal tissue toxicities produced by the various therapies. Several anticancer agents are dependent on oxygen to be cytotoxic, these drugs such as the iron-chelating peptide bleomycin are enhanced in antitumor activity by the co-administration of a PFCE/C. The antitumor alkylating agents especially cyclophosphamide, BCNU and melphalan show increased tumor cell killing without a concomitant increase in bone marrow toxicity when administered with PFCE/C. Enhanced activity was also observed when topoisomerase II inhibitors such as adriamycin and etoposide were co-administered with PFCE/C. Positive effects, although smaller, were observed when antimetabolites such as 5-fluorouracil and methotrexate were co-administered with PFCE/C.

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