Background/aim: Pancreatic cancer responds poorly to most chemotherapeutic agents. Several studies have reported that hyaluronan (HA)-rich extracellular matrix (ECM) is a biological barrier against chemotherapeutic agents. 4-methylumbelliforone (MU) led to inhibition of HA synthesis and its preservation in ECM, which may enhance 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) cytotoxicity. Thus, new therapy with MU and 5-FU may be developed for pancreatic cancer.
Materials and methods: A 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) concentration and 4-methylumbelliferone (MU) dosage was analyzed by high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). Change in antitumor efficacy of 5-FU in combination with MU was also examined in vivo and in vitro.
Results: Combined 5-FU and MU treatment inhibited cell proliferation better than 5-FU alone; 0.01 mM 5-FU alone decreased cell proliferation by 37.7 %, while 0.01 mM 5-FU with 0.5 mM MU decreased cell proliferation by 57.4%. MU enhanced the intracellular concentration of 5-FU by 47.3% compared to control. Mice tumors treated with 5-FU and MU decreased in size and animal survival was prolonged. Moreover, MU decreased cohesiveness of the intercellular space.
Conclusion: Combination therapy of 5-FU with MU was effective. A novel therapy can be designed for pancreatic cancer by using ECM modulation.
Keywords: 4-methylumbelliferone; 5-fluorouracil; Pancreatic cancer; antitumor effect; extracellular modulation; hyaluronan.
Copyright© 2018, International Institute of Anticancer Research (Dr. George J. Delinasios), All rights reserved.