Combined modality therapy of gemcitabine and irradiation on human glioma spheroids derived from cell lines and biopsy tissue

Fabian Fehlauer, Martina Muench, Ernst J Smid, Ben Slotman, Eckhard Richter, Paul Van der Valk, Peter Sminia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


Multicellular tumor spheroids have been used to examine aspects of combined modality treatment since they often recreate the in vivo tumor environment much more closely than other models. The radioenhancement by gemcitabine (dFdC) on human glioma spheroids derived from cell lines (CLS) and biopsy tissue, grown as organotypic multicellular spheroids (OMS), was studied. CLS of GaMg and U87 and OMS of four glioblastoma patients were used. Radiochemosensitvity was determined using migration and proliferation assays on CLS. In OMS, histology and immunohistochemical studies of MIB-1, p53, and p21 expression were examined 24 and 48 h following treatment. Cell death (ethidium homodimer) was studied using a fluorescence cell viability assay. In CLS, combination treatment led to migration inhibition in GaMg and U87 of 85% and 62% (dFdC 46% and 52%, RT 21% and 43%) and proliferation inhibition of 83% and 85%, respectively. Following dFdC + RT in OMS (% of cases), apoptosis and p21 expression increased (50%), p53 expression increased (75%) and cell proliferation decreased (75%). Only minor morphological damage was observed. Confocal laser scanning microscopy identified an increased dead cell core after dFdC + RT (50%). In conclusion, dFdC can lead to an additively radioenhancement in CLS and individual OMS.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)97-105
Number of pages9
JournalOncology Reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2006


  • Antimetabolites, Antineoplastic/pharmacology
  • Apoptosis
  • Brain Neoplasms/drug therapy
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Cell Movement/drug effects
  • Cell Proliferation/drug effects
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Deoxycytidine/analogs & derivatives
  • Glioma/drug therapy
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Ki-67 Antigen/analysis
  • Microscopy, Confocal
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins p21(ras)/analysis
  • Radiation-Sensitizing Agents/pharmacology
  • Spheroids, Cellular
  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53/analysis

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