Drug resistance, which so often accompanies tumor progression, has been shown to be related to changes in membrane properties which may result in decreased drug accumulation in the tumor cell. A correlation between sensitivity to thermochemotherapy and degree of malignancy was found in the AKR lymphoma system. Hyperthermia increased adriamycin (ADR) uptake and concomitantly its cytotoxicity to AKR lymphoma cells. Moreover, these effects were more pronounced on a variant of high malignancy (HM) than on a low malignancy (LM) one. Fluorescent microscopy, as well as cytofluorometry, indicated that lymphoma cells treated by ADR at 43°C were more permeable to the cytotoxic agent than those exposed to the chemotherapeutic substance at 37°C. Cytofluorometry indicated the presence of a minor cell subpopulation with low ADR uptake in the HM variant, not found in the LM one. Fluorocytometry also showed that the temperature-dependent increased ADR uptake was more marked in the HM than in the LM variant, explaining the differential effect of thermochemotherapy on the two lymphoma variants. However, correlation between degree of malignancy and sensitivity to thermochemotherapy is not a general feature. In contrast to the results obtained in the AKR lymphoma system, in the 1316 melanoma the low malignancy variant, F1, was more markedly affected by the combined treatment than the F10 variant. The increased cytotoxic effect of ADR by supranormal temperatures in the Fl variant was shown to be due to an augmented drug uptake. The results suggest that drug resistance in late stages of tumor progression can be overcome by an agent acting on the cell membrane. However, the data also indicate the necessity of assaying cancer treatment modalities, including those designed to circumvent drug resistance, on various tumor system models.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research