American Association of Plastic Surgeons

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Antitumorigenic Effect of Deferoxamine on Human Head and Neck Cancer Cell Proliferation
Alexis Donneys, MD, Jeremy V. Lynn, N/A, Kevin Urlaub, BS, Halil S. Uygur, MD, Jessie Hoxie, N/A, Lauren Buchman, N/A, Alicia Snider, MD, Kavitha Ranganathan, MD, Noah Nelson, BS, Chitra Subramanian, PhD, MBA, Mark Cohen, MD, Steven R. Buchman, MD.
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, USA.

Purpose: The ability of deferoxamine (DFO) to mitigate the deleterious effects of radiation on bone regeneration in the craniofacial skeleton is well documented in the scientific literature. However, there remains concern about the tumorigenic potential of DFO when administered to head and neck cancer (HNC) patients. The purpose of this study is to investigate the effects of DFO on MDA-1986 head and neck squamous carcinoma (HNSC) cell proliferation in the absence and presence of radiotherapy (XRT).
Methods: MDA-1986 cells were exposed to increasing doses of DFO (0, 25, 50 uM) and XRT (0, 5, 10 Gy) in triplicate and counted via hemocytometer to delineate the dose-dependent effects of each therapy. An MTS assay was then performed to comparatively analyze the following groups: control, XRT, DFO, and XRT+DFO. Statistical analysis was performed using ANOVA.
Results: Cell counts significantly decreased with increasing doses of XRT. Interestingly, DFO also displayed a significant dose-dependent potency to HNSC cells when analyzed via hemocytometer. For the MTS assay, a significant diminution of cell proliferation was observed in all treatment groups compared to control. The addition of DFO reduced cell proliferation to a significantly greater degree than XRT treatment alone, and the combination of XRT and DFO decreased cell proliferation even further.
Conclusions: Surprisingly, DFO exhibited an antitumorigenic effect more pronounced than the effects of radiotherapy. Our findings provide preliminary evidence that DFO may be safely utilized in select HNC patient populations in order to promote new bone formation during craniofacial reconstruction.


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