We have investigated differences in the efficacy of combined treatment with cis-diamminedichloroplatinum(II) (cDDP) and local hyperthermia (HT) in nonirradiated and preirradiated experimental tumors. Survival of R-1 rhabdomyosarcoma cells was assessed after treatment with various cDDP-concentrations at 37 degrees C and 42 degrees C in vitro. Rats bearing R-1 rhabdomyosarcomas of 190 mm3 (SE 15 mm3) were treated with cDDP (6 mg/kg i.p.), HT (1 h at 43 degrees C), or cDDP+HT (45 min interval) without preirradiation or at day 16 after the first dose of fractionated irradiation. Fractionated irradiation consisted of four daily doses of 5 Gy of x-rays each and tumor volumes had regrown to their original volume at the time of treatment. Experimental endpoint was tumor growth delay (TGD). Hyperthermia-enhanced cDDP cytotoxicity in vitro by a factor of about 5. Treatment with cDDP or HT alone resulted in a similar TGD in non- and preirradiated tumors (7.2 vs. 7.4 days and 1.1 vs. 0.9 days, respectively). In non- as well as in preirradiated tumors, HT given in combination with cDDP significantly enhanced the effect of cDDP, prolonging the TGD (11.1 days (p = 0.0001) and 16.2 days (p < 0.0001), respectively) corresponding to a TGD-enhancement of 1.54 and 2.19, respectively. The TGD after cDDP+HT in preirradiated tumors was significantly longer than in nonirradiated tumors (p = 0.0003). In this tumor model, HT enhanced the antitumor effect of cDDP. Previous radiation treatment did not reduce the HT-enhanced effect of cDDP. Combined cDDP and HT may be useful in the treatment of nonirradiated tumors as well as previously irradiated tumor
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