c-myc antisense oligodeoxynucleotides enhance the efficacy of cisplatin in melanoma chemotherapy in vitro and in nude mice

Gennaro Citro, Igea D'Agnano, Carlo Leonetti, Roberto Perini, Barbara Bucci, Gerald Zon, Bruno Calabretta, Gabriella Zupi

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This study was designed to assess the efficacy of a new antimelanoma therapeutic strategy that relies on the use of a c-myc antisense 15-mer phosphorothioate oligodeoxynucleotide ([S]ODN), in combination with cisplatin (cis-diamminedichloroplatinum; DDP), which is currently used in the clinical management of melanoma patients. Proliferation and colony formation of melanoma cells were both inhibited by the DDP/c-myc antisense [S]ODN combination to a greater extent than that observed with either agent alone. Inhibition was most effective when DDP was followed by c-myc antisense [S]ODNs. Cell cycle flow cytometric analysis of cells exposed to the two agents either alone or in combination demonstrated that (a) c-myc antisense [S]ODNs induced an accumulation of cells in S phase and apoptosis in a fraction of the cells, detectable at day 5 after the beginning of treatment; (b) DDP induced a block in G2-M phase detectable at day 1, which was partially recovered, and apoptosis similar in extent to that induced by c- myc antisense [S]ODNs; and (c) DDP and c-myc antisense [S]ODNs together induced arrest in G2-M phase, which was maximum at day 3, i.e., delayed as compared to the block induced by DDP. The combination induced a higher percentage of apoptosis, evident at day 3 from the start of treatment, that correlated with a marked reduction in Bcl-2 expression. Mice bearing human melanoma xenografts and treated sequentially with DDP and c-myc antisense [S]ODNs showed a higher inhibition of tumor growth, reduction in the number of lung metastases, and increase in life span compared with those treated with either agent alone. Together, these data lend support to the development of anticancer therapies involving oncogene-targeted antisense ODNs and conventional antineoplastic drugs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)283-289
Number of pages7
JournalCancer Research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jan 15 1998

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology


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