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11/19/2018 - 11:13 | Science External News

Korean publication appeared in the International Journal of Hyperthermia

To link to this article

Title: Combined treatment with modulated electrohyperthermia and an autophagy inhibitor effectively inhibit ovarian and cervical cancer growth

Authors: Wookyeom Yang, Gwan Hee Han, Ha-Yeon Shin, Eun-Ju Lee, Hanbyoul Cho, Doo Byung Chay & Jae-Hoon Kim

Published online: 14 Nov 2018., International Journal of Hyperthermia



Modulated electro-hyperthermia (mEHT), known as oncothermia, is an anticancer therapy that induces radiofrequency thermal damage to the cancer tissues. This study aimed to evaluate the potential effectiveness of mEHT as a therapeutic tool in ovarian and cervical cancer.

Materials and methods:
We used both tumor-bearing mice and ovarian and cervical OVCAR-3, SKOV-3, HeLa and SNU-17 cancer cell lines to investigate the effects of mEHT in vivo and in vitro, respectively, and determine whether it was enhanced by cotreatment with an autophagy inhibitor.

We discovered that phosphorylation of p38, a stress-dependent kinase, was induced at the Thr180/Tyr182 residue in cancer cells exposed to mEHT. Apoptotic markers such as cleaved caspase-3 and poly-ADP ribose polymerase (PARP) were increased in OVCAR-3 and SNU-17 cells. Fluorescenceactivated cell sorting (FACS) analysis showed a significant increase in the population of sub-G1 mEHTexposed cells, which are dying and apoptotic cells. mEHT also reduced both weight and volume of xenograft tumors in mice transplanted with ovarian and cervical cancer cells and patient-derived cancer tissues. We determined that mEHT-induced cellular damage recovery was mediated by autophagy
and, therefore, expectedly, cotreatment with mEHT and 3-methyladenine (3-MA), an autophagy inhibitor, more effectively inhibited cancer cell growth than individual treatment did.

mEHT treatment alone was sufficient to inhibit cancer growth, while a combined treatment with mEHT and an autophagy inhibitor amplified this inhibition effect.