The antioxidant pyrrolidinedithiocarbamate improves the therapeutic efficacy of 5-fluorouracil (5-FU against HCT-15 colorectal cancer cell line xenografts in nude mice without increasing toxicity to normal intestinal or hematopoietic tissues. In the current study we have shown that a similar clinically licensed antioxidant, N-acetylcysteine (200 mg/kg), can modulate the activity of 5-FU (120 mg/kg) against HCT-15 tumor xenografts in nude mice. We demonstrate that this effect is accompanied by a sustained elevation in p53-independant apoptosis without accompanying alterations in cell cycle kinetics. Extensive tumor necrosis is also a prominent feature of treatment; however, no significant impairment of neovascularization as assessed by intratumor microvessel density occurred. The believe that the clinical efficacy of N-acetylcysteine as an adjunct to 5-FU in advanced colorectal cancer should be investigated further.
- colorectal cancel