Effects of granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor and interleukin-3 on small cell lung cancer cells

Paolo Pedrazzoli, Giovanna Bacciocchi, Gaetano Bergamaschi, Mario Cazzola, Marco Danova, Nadia Gibelli, Monica Giordano, Antonio Lazzaro, Franco Locatelli, Lorenzo Pavesi, Gino Volpato, Carlo Zibera, Gioacchino Robustelli Della Cuna

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Nonhematopoietic malignant cells may express receptors for hematopoietic growth factors and respond to these peptides. The aim of the present study was to investigate whether small cell lung cancer (SCLC) cells may be stimulated to proliferate by hematopoietic growth factors such as granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF) and interleukin-3 (IL-3), which are currently used in clinical trials in combination with cytotoxic chemotherapy. We studied two SCLC cell lines, H69 and N417. The effects of GM-CSF and IL-3 were evaluated by studying clonal growth, 3H-thymidine incorporation, BUDR/DNA bivariate flow cytometry, c-myc and N-myc oncogene expression, and myeloid surface markers. Our experiments show that both GM-CSF and IL-3 can increase 3H-thymidine incorporation and cloning efficiency and reduce DNA synthesis time of H69 and, to a lesser extent, N417 cells, supporting the hypothesis that hematopoietic growth factors can stimulate the growth of some malignant nonhematopoietic cells in vitro. Further in vitro and in vivo studies are needed to determine whether clinical trials applying these factors for bone marrow recovery after chemotherapy of solid tumors may be hazardous by potentially stimulating growth of remaining tumor tissue.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)283-288
Number of pages6
JournalCancer Investigation
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1994

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology


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