The purpose of this study was to analyze the drug interactions of paclitaxel (PTX) with epirubicin (EPI), carboplatin (CBDCA), gemcitabine (GEM) and vinorelbine (VIN) in human breast cancer cells and compare the cytotoxic activity of each drug combination in primary breast cancer samples. These experiments were intended to identify the most active agents in combination with PTX, and to provide a preclinical rational for future clinical investigations in breast cancer. Multiple drug effect/combination index (CI) isobologram analysis was applied to combinations of PTX with either CBDCA, EPI, GEM or VIN in MCF-7, MDA-MB-231 and SK-BR-3 human breast cancer cell lines. Drug concentrations were limited to the ranges achievable in humans in vivo, and the drugs were applied simultaneously at fixed molar ratios for each drug combination. Interactions were assessed at multiple effect levels (IC10-IC90). Additionally, the cytotoxic activity of these combinations was assessed in tumor samples of 50 primary breast cancer patients, utilizing the ATP-tumorchemosensitivity assay (ATP-TCA). Drug interactions were shown to be strongly dose-related in the human breast cancer cell lines investigated. At clinically relevant concentrations, CBDCA/PTX demonstrated synergistic (MCF-7) or additive (MDA-MB-231, SK-BR-3) interactions, and EPI/PTX showed additive (SK-BR-3, MCF-7) and antagonistic (MDA-MB-231) interactions. GEM/PTX and VIN/PTX, however, demonstrated antagonism over multiple dose effect levels at clinically relevant drug concentrations in all three cell lines tested. At plasma peak concentrations, EPI/PTX, CBDCA/PTX, GEM/PTX and VIN/PTX achieved > or = 90% tumor growth inhibition in 93, 86, 63 and 50%, respectively, of primary breast cancer samples investigated with the ATP-TCA. Cumulative dose-response plots of primary breast cancer tumor cells responding in vitro with > or = 90% growth inhibition showed a strong dose dependence for both EPI/PTX and CBDCA/PTX. In conclusion, the current data indicate favorable drug interactions for CBDCA/PTX at clinically relevant drug concentrations in breast cancer cells, and demonstrate superior in vitro cytotoxicity of EPI/PTX and CBDCA/PTX compared to GEM/PTX and VIN/PTX in primary breast cancer cultures.
View details for Web of Science ID 000170903800003
View details for PubMedID 11561768