Analysis of the in vitro synergistic effect of 5-fluorouracil and cisplatin on cervical carcinoma cells

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5-Fluorouracil (5-FU) is currently being used as an anticancer drug to reduce tumor bulk in order to increase the operability rate and postoperative survival in patients with cervical cancer, which has been combined with cisplatin (CP) because of its superior activities observed in human carcinoma cells. However, the combined anticancer effect of 5-FU and CP in cervical carcinoma cells is poorly understood. Therefore, we conducted a study to investigate whether anticancer drugs 5-FU and CP may exhibit the combined antiproliferative effect in cervical carcinoma cells. Using proteomics analysis, including two-dimensional gel electrophoresis and matrix assisted laser desorption/ionization-time of flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF-MS), we investigated the antiproliferative effect–related proteins after treatment with 5-FU and/or CP. Our experiments showed that the combination of 5-FU and CP engaged both the apoptotic pathways: the membrane death receptor–mediated apoptosis pathway and the mitochondrial apoptotic pathway. Moreover, the combination of 5-FU and CP resulted in remarkable increasing susceptibility to apoptosis. We suggest that the combination of 5-FU and CP suppresses the growth of cervical carcinoma cells by synergistic effect with the induction of apoptosis. In vitro synergistic effect of 5-FU and CP supports the basis of the clinical application of the combination chemotherapy to the patients with cervical cancer.

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