Genes & Cancer

Taurolidine cooperates with antineoplastic drugs in neuroblastoma cells

Georg Eschenburg1, Christian Luckert1, Konrad Reinshagen1 and Robert Bergholz1

1 Department of Pediatric Surgery, University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, Hamburg, Germany


Georg Eschenburg, email:

Keywords: Neuroblastoma, Apoptosis, Vincristine, Doxorubicin, Experimental Therapies

Received: September 29, 2014 Accepted: October 08, 2014 Published: October 09, 2014


Neuroblastoma is the most common extracranial tumor in childhood. Outcome of stage 4 disease remains poor and the development of novel therapeutic approaches is thus urgently needed. Taurolidine (TRD), originally invented to avoid catheter infections, has shown to exhibit antineoplastic activity in various cancers. The growth of neuroblastoma cell lines is inhibited by TRD as recently demonstrated. Further analysis disclosed a significant negative growth effect of TRD on the four neuroblastoma cell lines SH-EP TET21N, SK-N-AS, SK-N-BE(2)-M17 and SK-N-SH. Detected IC50 (51-274 µM; 48 h) are promising and correspond to clinically- achievable plasma levels. Apoptosis was induced (76-86%; 48 h) in a time- dependent manner mediated by a simultaneous activation of the intrinsic and extrinsic pathways. This was confirmed by cleavage of caspases -3, -8 and -9 and abrogation of apoptosis by pan-caspase inhibition. Application of TRD resulted in a significant enhancement of cytotoxic drugs vincristine/doxorubicin (2/3 of 4 cell lines) making TRD a promising candidate to be included in neuroblastoma therapy regimens in the future.

PII: 36