The development of resistance to anticancer drugs urges the search for different treatment modalities. Several investigators have reported the concomitant development of drug resistance and resistance to natural killer (NK), lymphokine-activated killer (LAK) or monocyte/macrophage cell lysis, while others described unchanged or even increased susceptibility. We investigated this subject in the rat colon carcinoma cell line, CC531-PAR, which is intrinsically multidrug-resistant (MDR), and in three sublines derived from this parental cell line: a cell line with an increased MDR phenotype (CC531-COL), a revertant line from CC531-COL (CC531-REV), which demonstrates enhanced sensitivity to anticancer drugs of the MDR phenotype, and an independently developed cisplatin-resistant line (CC531-CIS). In a 4-h51Cr-release assay we found no difference in susceptibility to NK cell lysis. No significant differences in lysability by adherent LAK (aLAK) cells were observed in a 4-h assay. In a prolonged 20-h51Cr-release assay an enhanced sensitivity to aLAK-cell-mediated lysis was observed in the revertant, P-glycoprotein-negative cell line and in the cisplatin-resistant cell line (CC531-CIS). None of the cell lines was completely resistant to lysis by aLAK cells. Therefore, a role for immunotherapy in the treatment of drug-resistant tumors remains a realistic option.

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Keywords Adherent lymphokine-activated killer, Cisplatin resistance, Interleukin-2, Multidrug resistance, Natural killer
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Journal Cancer Immunology, Immunotherapy: other biological response modifications
van de Vrie, W, van der Heyden, S.A.M, Gheuens, E.E.O, Bijma, A.M, de Bruijn, E.A, Marquet, R.L, … Eggermont, A.M.M. (1993). Drug resistance in rat colon cancer cell lines is associated with minor changes in susceptibility to cytotoxic cells. Cancer Immunology, Immunotherapy: other biological response modifications, 37(5), 337–342. doi:10.1007/BF01518457