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Synergistic induction of apoptosis of neuroblastoma by fenretinide or CD437 in combination with chemotherapeutic drugs

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Penny Lovat, Dr Michael Tilby, Professor Archibald Malcolm, Professor Andrew Pearson, Dr Chris RedfernORCiD


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Retinoic acid therapy improves the survival of children with neuroblastoma and 13-cis retinoic acid now forms an important component of treatment for residual disease of stage IV neuroblastoma after chemotherapy. However, although 13-cis retinoic acid induces differentiation, other retinoids are effective at inducing apoptosis of neuroblastoma in vitro including the novel compounds fenretinide and CD437 and these may be alternative retinoids for neuroblastoma therapy. The aim of our study was to evaluate the ability of fenretinide, CD437 (6-{3-(l-adamantyl)-4-hydroxyphenyl} -2-naphthalene carboxylic acid) and different retinoic acid isomers to induce apoptosis of neuroblastoma in conjunction with the chemotherapeutic drugs, cisplatin, etoposide and carboplatin. Neuroblastoma cell lines were treated with retinoids prior to treatment with chemotherapeutic agents and flow cytometry used to measure apoptosis and free radical generation. Pre-treatment of neuroblastoma cell lines with fenretinide or CD437 prior to treatment with cisplatin, etoposide or carboplatin synergistically increased apoptosis, an effect not seen with 13-cis, all-trans of 9-cis retinoic acid. Contrary to retinoic acid isomers or chemotherapeutic drugs, apoptosis of neuroblastoma cells induced by fenretinide or CD437 was accompanied by the generation of intracellular free radicals. Quenching of fenretinide- or CD437-induced free radicals with antioxidants abolished the synergistic response seen with the subsequent addition of chemotherapeutic agents. Therefore, the generation of free radicals by fenretinide or CD437 may be the key property of these retinoids leading to synergistic responses with chemotherapeutic drugs. Clearly, these synthetic retinoids provide new opportunities for novel neuroblastoma therapy. (C) 2000 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Lovat, P.E., Ranalli, M., Bernassola, F., Tilby, M.J., Malcolm, A.J., Pearson, A.D.J., Piacentini, M, Melino, G., Redfern, C.P.F.

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: International Journal of Cancer

Year: 2000

Volume: 88

Issue: 6

Pages: 977-985

Print publication date: 15/12/2000

ISSN (print): 0020-7136

ISSN (electronic): 1097-0215


DOI: 10.1002/1097-0215(20001215)88:6<977::AID-IJC22>3.0.CO;2-G

PubMed id: 11093824


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