Scheduling of paclitaxel and gefitinib to inhibit repopulation for optimal treatment of human cancer cells and xenografts that overexpress the epidermal growth factor receptor
The relationship between tumour volume response and cell kill in B16 melanoma following treatment in vivo with cyclophosphamide (CY) and 1-(2-chloroethyl)-3-cyclohexyl-1-nitrosourea (CCNU) was investigated. Tumour volume response, expressed as growth delay, was estimated from measurements of tumour dimensions. Depression of in vitro colony-forming ability of cells from treated tumours was used as the measure of tumour cell kill. The relationship between these parameters was clearly different for the two agents studied. CY produced more growth delay (7.5 days) per decade of tumour cell kill than CCNU (2 to 3.5 days). The possibility that this was due to a technical artefact was rejected in favour of an alternative explanation that different rates of cellular repopulation in tumours treated with CY and CCNU might be responsible. Cellular repopulation was measured directly, by performing cell-survival assays at various times after treatment with doses of CY and CCNU which produced about 3 decades of cell kill. The rate of repopulation by clonogenic cells was much slower after treatment with CY than with CCNU, and this appears to account for the longer duration of the growth delay obtained with CY.