Combination of therapy with 5-fluorouracil and cisplatin with electroporation in human ovarian carcinoma model in vitro

Biomed Pharmacother. 2014 Jun;68(5):573-80. doi: 10.1016/j.biopha.2014.05.005. Epub 2014 Jun 12.


High electric field, applied to plasma membrane, affects organization of the lipid molecules, generating transient hydrophilic electropores. The application of the cell membrane electroporation in combination with cytotoxic drugs could increase the drug transport into cells. This approach is known as electrochemotherapy (ECT). Our work shows new data concerning the influence of electrochemical reaction with cisplatin or with 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) on cancer ovarian cells resistant to standard therapy with cisplatin, in comparison to ECT effect on human primary fibroblasts. We investigated the effect of electroporation and electrochemotherapy with 5-FU and cisplatin on human ovarian clear-cell carcinoma cell line (OvBH-1) and epithelial ovarian carcinoma cell line (SKOV-3) - both resistant to cisplatin typically used in ovarian cancers. As control cells, human gingival fibroblasts (HGF's) from primary culture were used. Electropermeabilization efficiency was determined by FACS analysis with iodide propidium. Efficiency of electrochemotherapy was evaluated with viability assay. The cytotoxic effect was dependent on the electroporation parameters and on drug concentration. Electroporation alone only insignificantly decreased cells proliferation in OvBH-1 line; SKOV-3 line was more sensitive to the electrical field. Electrochemotherapy with cisplatin and 5-FU showed promising effects on both ovarian cell lines with recovery of normal cells revealed after 72 hours.

Keywords: 5-fluorouracil; Cisplatin; Electrochemotherapy; Electropermeabilization; Human fibroblasts; Ovarian carcinoma.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / therapeutic use*
  • Cell Death / drug effects
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Cell Survival / drug effects
  • Cisplatin / pharmacology
  • Cisplatin / therapeutic use*
  • Drug Delivery Systems
  • Electroporation*
  • Female
  • Fibroblasts / drug effects
  • Flow Cytometry
  • Fluorouracil / pharmacology
  • Fluorouracil / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Inhibitory Concentration 50
  • Middle Aged
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / pathology


  • Cisplatin
  • Fluorouracil