Enhancement of the response of B16F1 melanoma to fractionated radiotherapy and prolongation of survival by withaferin A and/or hyperthermia

Guruprasad Kalthur, Uma Devi Pathirissery

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Withaferin A (WA), isolated from Indian medicinal plant Withania somnifera has weak antitumor and radiosensitizing property. The present investigation was planned to evaluate the tumor sensitizing effect of WA with or without local hyperthermia on the response of B16F1 melanoma to fractionated and acute radiotherapy. C57BL mice bearing tumors of 100 ± 10mm3 were treated with fractionated radiotherapy (RT, 2Gy×5 days/week, 4 weeks), withaferin A (15mg/kg, i.p., 5 days/ week, 3 weeks), local hyperthermia (HT, 43°C once a week, 3 weeks) and their combinations, or acuteRT (40Gy), WA (40mg/kg), HT (43°C, 30min) and their combinations. Treatment response was studied by tumor regression, growth delay and animal survival. Acute RT+HT produced 50% partial response which increased to 62.5% with combination of WA. In fractionated regimen, trimodality combination resulted in 100% PR. Acute RT+HT and WA+RT produced similar increase in growth delay (GD) compared to RT alone which further increased in trimodality treatment. Fractionated WA+RT+HT for 3 weeks produced a higher GD and survival than all other treatments. In conclusion, WA is a better radiosensitizer than HT in fractionated regimen and the response of radioresistant tumors like melanoma can be significantly enhanced by combining nontoxic doses of WA with fractionated RT, with or without HT, allowing decrease in radiation dose.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)370-377
Number of pages8
JournalIntegrative Cancer Therapies
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 12-2010


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Oncology
  • Complementary and alternative medicine

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