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Volume 25, Number 3, 2020

Cancer cells resist hyperthermia due to its obstructed activation of caspase 3

Xiaoren Tang, Feng Cao, Weiyuan Ma, Yinian Tang, Bushra Aljahdali, Mansour Alasir, I. Erdjan Salih, Serge Dibart


Aim It is well known that inducing hyperthermia is a type of cancer treatment but some research groups indicate that this treatment is not effective. This article finds and explains the mechanism of this treatment and its possible problems. Background Hyperthermia is commonly known as a state when the temperature of the body rises to a level that can threaten one’s health. Hyperthermia is a type of cancer treatment in which body tissue is exposed to high temperatures (up to 45 °C). Research has shown that high temperatures can damage and kill cancer cells, usually with minimal injury to normal tissues. However, this mechanism is not known. Materials and Methods We recently treated cancer cells with different temperatures ranging from 37 °C to 47 °C and further measured their caspase 3 secretion by ELISA, western blot and cell survival rate by microscope. Results We found that most cancer cells are able to resist hyperthermia more than normal cells most likely via non-activation of caspase3. We also found that hyperthermia-treated (≥41°) cancer cells extend a long pseudopod-like extension in comparison to the same cancer cells under normal conditions. Conclusion Our data here indicates that cancer cells have resistance to higher temperatures compared to normal cells via non-activation of caspase 3. This is a significant issue that needs to be brought to attention as the medical community has always believed that a high temperature treatment can selectively kill cancer/tumor cells. Additionally, we believe that the pseudopod-like extensions of hyperthermia-treated cancer cells must be related to its resistance to hyperthermia.

Signature: Rep Pract Oncol Radiother, 2020; 25(3) : 323-326

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Indexed in: EMBASE®, the Excerpta Medica database, the Elsevier BIOBASE (Current Awareness in Biological Sciences) and in the Index Copernicus.