Amifostine is the best known radioprotector and chemoprotector which has already been incorporated into general oncology practice. However, the data regarding its action at the cellular level remain unclear. The present study examined the effect of amifostine with and without ionizing radiation on the growth of malignant and non-malignant cell lines. Amifostine was found to have a remarkable cytotoxic effect on malignant epithelial cell lines but a modest cytotoxic effect on malignant melanoma and non-malignant cell lines. It demonstrated an additive effect with radiation therapy on the malignant cell line and a variable effect on the non-malignant cell line. Endothelial cells were not affected by amifostine, but the myoblast cells showed a synergistic effect of amifostine and radiation. These findings demonstrate that the cytotoxic as well as the radioprotective effect of amifostine are cell-specific. Thus, caution should be exercised in the use of amifostine as a radioprotector, and it should be tested for each model of disease.
- Cell lines