Newer options for treating drug-resistant (MDR+ cancer cells using photoradiation therapy

Subhash C. Gulati, Roberto M. Lemoli, Tadahiko Igarashi, Jens Atzpodien

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Emergence of drug resistance with conventional cytotoxic therapy is a major challenge towards the curability of many cancers, especially in patients undergoing autologous BMT with ex-vivo purged hematopoietic support. We have explored the potential role of photoradiation therapy in purging hematopoietic stem cells of various hematological malignancies. Benzoporphyrin derivative, monoacid ring A (BPD-MA), dihematoporphyrin ether (DHE), and MC-540 were evaluated for the "ex-vivo" purging of residual tumor cells from autologous bone marrow (BM) grafts. BPD-MA and DHE photosensitizing activity was tested against two human large cell lymphoma cell lines and colony forming-unit leukemia (CFU-L) derived from patients with acute myelogenous leukemia (AML). In mixing experiments four log elimination of tumor cell lines was observed after 1 hr of incubation with BPD-MA or DHE followed by white light exposure. By comparison, using the same concentration of BPD-MA or DHE, the mean recovery of normal BM progenitors was 4-5.2% for granulocyte-macrophage colony forming unit (CFU-GM) and 5-9.8% for burst forming unit erythroid (BFUE). The T lymphoblastic leukemia cell line CEM and its vinblastine (VBL)-resistant subline CEM/VBL100. along with the acute promyelocyte leukemia cell line HL-60 and its vincristine (VCR)-resistant subline HL-60/VCR, were also tested. Our results demonstrated the preferential cytotoxicity of BPD-MA and DHE toward neoplastic cell lines and CFU-L from AML patients. In addition, DHE was slightly more effective in purging tumor cells expressing the p-170 glycoprotein. These results suggest that photoradiation would be useful for "ex-vivo" purging of malignant cells. Other methods to deal with decreasing drug resistance are also detailed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)427-433
Number of pages7
JournalLeukemia and Lymphoma
Issue number5-6
Publication statusPublished - 1994


  • Antobodies
  • Bepridil
  • Cyclosporine
  • Drug-resistance
  • MDR
  • Phototherapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology
  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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