Calcitriol enhances gemcitabine anti-tumor activity in vitro and in vivo by promoting apoptosis in a human pancreatic carcinoma model system

Print
Published on Tuesday, 29 August 2017

Abstract

Gemcitabine is the standard care chemotherapeutic agent to treat pancreatic cancer.

Previously we demonstrated that calcitriol (1, 25-dihydroxycholecalciferol) has significant anti-proliferative effects in vitro and in vivo in multiple tumor models and enhances the activity of a variety of chemotherapeutic agents.

We therefore investigated whether calcitriol could potentiate the cytotoxic activity of gemcitabine in the human pancreatic cancer Capan-1 model system. Isobologram analysis revealed that calcitriol and gemcitabine had synergistic antiproliferative effect over a wide range of drug concentrations. Calcitriol did not reduce the cytidine deaminase activity in Capan-1 tumors nor in the livers of Capan-1 tumor bearing mice.

Calcitriol and gemcitabine combination promoted apoptosis in Capan-1 cells compared with either agent alone. The combination treatment also increased the activation of caspases-8, -9, -6 and -3 in Capan-1 cells. This result was confirmed by substrate-based caspase activity assay. Akt phosphorylation was reduced by calcitriol and gemcitabine combination treatment compared to single agent treatment. However, ERK1/2 phosphorylation was not modulated by either agent alone or by the combination.

Tumor regrowth delay studies showed that calcitriol in combination with gemcitabine resulted in a significant reduction of Capan-1 tumor volume compared to single agent treatment.

Our study suggests that calcitriol and gemcitabine in combination promotes caspase-dependent apoptosis, which may contribute to increased anti-tumor activity compared to either agent alone.

 

 

About this publication.

 

See also:

- Vitamin D (analogues and/or derivatives) and cancer;

- Pancreatic Adenocarcinoma: clinical records on 17 patients treated with Di Bella's Method;

- The Di Bella Method Increases by the 30% the survival rate for Pancreas tumors and for this reason should be proposed as first line therapy for this type of cancer;

- The Di Bella Method (DBM) in the treatment of prostate cancer: a preliminary retrospective study of 16 patients and a review of the literature;

- A case of advanced Multiple Myeloma treated with Di Bella Method (DBM) into total remission for 13 years;

- Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia: Long-Lasting Remission with Combination of Cyclophosphamide, Somatostatin, Bromocriptine, Retinoids, Melatonin, and ACTH;

- Evaluation of the safety and efficacy of the first-line treatment with somatostatin combined with melatonisn, retinoids, vitamin D3, and low doses of cyclophosphamide in 20 cases of breast cancer: a preliminary report;

- The Di Bella Method (DBM) improved survival, objective response and performance status in a retrospective observational clinical study on 122 cases of breast cancer;

- Complete objective response to biological therapy of plurifocal breast carcinoma.