Cohen-Jonathan, E., Muschel, R. J., McKenna, W. G., Evans, S. M., Cerniglia, G., Mick, R., Kusewitt, D., Sebti, S. M., Hamilton, A. D., Oliff, A., Kohl, N., Gibbs, J. B. and Bernhard, E. J. Farnesyltransferase Inhibitors Potentiate the Antitumor Effect of Radiation on a Human Tumor Xenograft Expressing Activated HRAS.

Successful radiosensitization requires that tumor cells become more radiosensitive without causing an equivalent reduction in the survival of cells of the surrounding normal tissues. Since tumor cell radiosensitivity can be influenced by RAS oncogene activation, we have hypothesized that inhibition of oncogenic RAS activity would lead to radiosensitization of tumors with activated RAS. We previously showed in tissue culture that prenyltransferase treatment of cells with activated RAS resulted in radiosensitization, whereas treatment of cells with wild-type RAS had no effect on radiation survival. Here we ask whether the findings obtained in vitro have applicability in vivo. We found that treatment of nude mice bearing T24 tumor cell xenografts with farnesyltransferase inhibitors resulted in a significant and synergistic reduction in tumor cell survival after irradiation. The regrowth of T24 tumors expressing activated RAS was also significantly prolonged by the addition of treatment with farnesyltransferase inhibitors compared to the regrowth after irradiation alone. In contrast, there was no effect on the radiosensitivity of HT-29 tumors expressing wild-type RAS. These results demonstrate that specific radiosensitization of tumors expressing activated RAS oncogenes can be obtained in vivo.

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