Etoposide sensitivity of human prostatic cancer cell lines PC-3, DU 145 and LNCaP


  • Mercedes Salido
  • J. Larrán
  • A. López
  • J. Vilches
  • J. Aparicio


apoptosis, induction, prostate cancer, etoposide


Metastatic prostatic cancer is typically refractory to androgen ablation therapy due to the presence of androgen-independent clones in the neoplasia. A therapeutical approach which could effectively control androgen-dependent and independent cells is, thus, needed. Maybe the failure of certain cancer cells to engage in apoptosis could explain the inherent drug resistance of many tumors. Anyway, these cells can retain the ability to undergo apoptosis in response to an adequate stimulus. We tested whether etoposide, a topoisomerase I1 inhibitor, could induce apoptosis in androgen-dependent (LNCaP) as well as independent (PC-3 and DU 145) human prostate cancer cell lines. Morphological examination was performed, as it is regarded as one of the most reliable parameters for the detection of apoptotic changes. Complementarily, biochemical and flow cytometric studies were also used. Characteristical changes of apoptosis were demonstrated in PC-3, Du 145, and LNCaP cancer cells after treatment with etoposide. These cells, thus, retain the ability to undergo apoptosis under adequate conditions, in a promising approach to hormone refractory prostate cancer therapy.