In cancer therapy today, carbon ion radiotherapy is used mainly as monotherapy, whereas cisplatin is used concomitantly with X-ray radiotherapy. The effectiveness of concomitant carbon ions and cisplatin is unclear. To obtain the information on the mechanisms potentially shared between carbon ions or X-rays and cisplatin, we assessed the correlation of sensitivity to the single treatments. In 20 human cancer cell lines, sensitivity to X-rays strongly correlated with sensitivity to cisplatin, indicating the presence of potentially shared target mechanisms. Interestingly, the correlation of sensitivity to carbon ions and cisplatin was much weaker than that of sensitivity to X-rays and cisplatin, indicating the presence of potentially different target mechanisms between carbon ions and cisplatin. Assessment of clonogenic cell death by 4′,6-diamidino-2-phenylindole dihydrochloride staining showed that mitotic catastrophe was more efficiently induced by carbon ions than by the same physical dose of X-rays, while apoptosis and senescence were not. These data indicate that the correlation of sensitivity to carbon ions and cisplatin is weaker than that of sensitivity to X-rays and cisplatin, which are helpful as biological basis to understand the potentially shared mechanism among these treatments. Further investigation is mandatory to elucidate the clinical efficacy of carbon ions and cisplatin combination.
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