OBJECTIVE: Aims were to investigate sensitivity of various human and canine cancer cell lines to hyperthermia and the influence of particular treatment conditions, and to analyze the DNA-damage response and mode of cell death in cell line radiosensitized by hyperthermia. Additionally, we were interested in the involvement of HSP70 in radiosensitization.
METHODS: Radiosensitization by hyperthermia was determined in a panel of human and canine cancer cell lines using clonogenic cell survival assay, as well as levels of heat shock proteins (HSPs) using immunoblotting. The influence of the hyperthermia-radiotherapy time gap, different temperatures and the order of treatments on clonogenicity of hyperthermia-sensitive A549 cells was investigated. Additionally, DNA damage and cell death were assessed by Comet assay and an apoptosis/necrosis assay. Further we induced transient knockdown in A549 cells to test HSP70's involvement in radiosensitization.
RESULTS: Out of eight cell lines tested, only two (A549 and Abrams) showed significant decrease in clonogenic cell survival when pre-treated with hyperthermia at 42°C. Strong induction of HSP70 upon thermoradiotherapy (HT-RT) treatment was found in all cell lines. Transient knockdown of HSP70 in A549 cells did not result in decrease of clonogenic cell survival in response to HT-RT.
CONCLUSION: Tumor cell-type, temperature and order of treatment play an important role in radiosensitization by hyperthermia. However, hyperthermia has limited potency to radiosensitize canine cancer cells grown in a 2D cell culture setting presented here. DNA damage and apoptosis/necrosis did not increase upon combined treatment and cytosolic levels of HSP70 appear not to play critical role in the radiosensitization of A549 cells.