Clofarabine Acts as Radiosensitizer In Vitro and In Vivo by Interfering With DNA Damage Response

Academic Article


  • Purpose: Combination treatment with radiotherapy and chemotherapy has emerged as the dominant form of cancer adjuvant regimens in recent years. Clofarabine, a newly approved drug for pediatric leukemia, is a second-generation purine nucleoside analogue that can block DNA synthesis and inhibit DNA repair. Therefore, we hypothesized that clofarabine could work synergistically with radiotherapy to increase the tumor cell response. Methods and Materials: The effects of clofarabine on radiosensitivity have been established in several tumor cell lines in vitro and in vivo using colony-forming assays and tumor xenografts. The effect of clofarabine on the DNA damage response was also studied in vitro by measuring γ-H2AX focus formation. Results: Clonogenic survival was significantly reduced in irradiated cells treated with clofarabine, demonstrating the strong radiosensitizing effect of clofarabine. Furthermore, clofarabine displayed a radiosensitizing effect that was greater than gemcitabine or 5-fluorouracil. We also found that low doses of clofarabine can prolong the presence of radiation-induced γ-H2AX nuclear focus formation, and high doses of clofarabine can induce DNA double-strand breaks, suggesting that clofarabine can interfere with DNA damage response pathways. In addition, clofarabine-induced radiosensitization was also established in vivo using a colorectal cancer model, DLD-1, in athymic nude mice. When combined with fractionated radiotherapy, a moderate dose of clofarabine led to a significant increase in tumor growth inhibition. Conclusion: Clofarabine acts as a powerful radiosensitizer both in vitro and in vivo by interfering with the DNA damage response. © 2008 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Pubmed Id

  • 17433753
  • Author List

  • Cariveau MJ; Stackhouse M; Cui XL; Tiwari K; Waud W; Secrist JA; Xu B
  • Start Page

  • 213
  • End Page

  • 220
  • Volume

  • 70
  • Issue

  • 1