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In vitro schedule-dependent interaction between paclitaxel and SN-38 (the active metabolite of irinotecan) in human carcinoma cell lines.

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Division of Medical Oncology, Tochigi Cancer Center, Utsunomiya, Japan.


Paclitaxel and irinotecan are important new anticancer agents. The combination of these two agents has been considered for use against a variety of advanced solid tumors. Since the schedule-dependent effects of this combination may be crucial to its use, we studied the interaction of paclitaxel and SN-38 (the active metabolite of irinotecan) in various schedules in four human cancer cell lines in culture. Cell growth inhibition after 5 days was determined using an MTT assay. The effects of drug combinations at the IC80 level were analyzed by the isobologram method. Simultaneous exposure to paclitaxel and SN-38 for 24 h produced antagonistic (subadditive and protective) effects in the human lung cancer cell line A549, the breast cancer cell line MCF7, and the colon cancer cell line WiDr, and produced additive effects in the ovarian cancer cell line PA1. Sequential exposure to paclitaxel for 24 h followed by SN-38 for 24 h, and the reverse sequence, produced additive effects in all four cell lines. These findings suggest that sequential administration, not simultaneous administration, may be the appropriate schedule for the therapeutic combination of paclitaxel and irinotecan. Continued preclinical and clinical studies should provide further insights and assist in determining the optimal schedule for this combination in clinical use.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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