Efficacy of recombinant methioninase in combination with cisplatin on human colon tumors in nude mice

Yuying Tan, Xinghua Sun, Mingxu Xu, Xuezhong Tan, Aaron Sasson, Babak Rashidi, Qinghong Han, Xiuying Tan, Xiaoen Wang, Zili An, Fan Xian Sun, Robert M. Hoffman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

86 Scopus citations


The present treatment of colon cancer is based on 5-fluorouracil (5-FU). Despite promising results of combining leucovorin or levamisole with 5-FU, the 5-year survival rate of patients with advanced colon cancer has not increased significantly. Colon tumors in vitro have been shown previously to have an elevated requirement for methionine, suggesting a new therapeutic target. In this study, targeting the methionine dependence of colon tumors is effected by recombinant methioninase (rMETase), alone and in combination with cisplatin (CDDP). In vitro results demonstrated that CDDP and rMETase act synergistically on the human colon cancer cell line SW 620, with a combination index (CI) of 0.45, as well as on the human colon cancer cell line Colo 205 with a CI of 0.7. Human colon cancer lines HCT 15, HT 29, Colo 205, and SW 620 growing in nude mice were treated with rMETase to determine an effective dose for depletion of tumor methionine. rMETase at 15 units/g/day for 5 days depleted tumor methionine in all four tumor types to ~30% of untreated control. rMETase alone arrested growth of HCT 15 and HT29 in nude mice for 1 week after treatment termination. Colo 205 and SW 620 were partially arrested by rMETase. However, CDDP in combination with rMETase resulted in tumor regression of Colo 205 and growth arrest of SW 620 in nude mice. The ratio of the treated: control group (T:C) tumor weights for Colo 205 was 8% when CDDP was given on day-5, followed by treatment on days 5-9 with rMETase. This treatment schedule resulted in two of the six animals having no detectable tumor when the experiment was terminated on day 16. SW 620 was resistant to CDDP alone and only partially sensitive to rMETase alone. However, when SW 620 was treated with rMETase from days-5 to -9 and CDDP on day-5, tumor growth was arrested. The results demonstrate that rMETase used simultaneously in combination with CDDP had significant antitumor efficacy in colon cancer in vitro and in vivo. The data suggest a novel and promising therapeutic approach by targeting the elevated methionine dependence of colon cancer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2157-2163
Number of pages7
JournalClinical Cancer Research
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

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