Assessment of Therapeutic Impact on Cancer Cells

Literature Seminar Abstract

Currently, the most common therapeutic options to treat cancer include chemotherapy and radiation therapy. However, these therapies are expensive and have limited success rates. Therefore, it is essential to develop alternative treatment options that are safe and effective. One of the challenges presented in developing new treatment options is determining the efficacy of the new therapeutic. Currently, four assay types are used to determine therapeutic efficacy: cytotoxicity, cell viability, cell proliferation, and cell apoptosis assays. Unfortunately, there is no standard protocol to determine which assay or assays to use when assessing a new therapeutic. As a result, researchers often misinterpret and therefore misreport data obtained from these assays. Since there is ambiguity in determining the significance of each assay, it is necessary to clarify the information obtained from each of these assays as well as the appropriate use of each assay. The data obtained through the presentation of data reported by Wang and coworkers and Lu and coworkers will highlight the improper and proper usage of each assay. In the work done by Lu and coworkers, the gene inhibition drug, Alectinib, was tested independently and in combination with the common chemotherapeutic drug doxorubicin (dox) to determine therapeutic efficacy against six neuroblastoma cell lines.1 The data presented will focus on a single neuroblastoma cell line, SH-SY5Y, highlighting the data obtained from the cell viability and cell proliferation assay, Cell Counting Kit-8 (CCK-8), and cell apoptosis assays, Western Blot and flow cytometry. In the research done by Wang and coworkers, cell death of SH-EP1 neuroblastoma cells was attributed to a nitric oxide donating prodrug sodium nitroprusside (SNP).3 In order to prove that SNP was in fact causing cell death of SH-EP1 cells, Wang and coworkers performed a cell viability assay using Crystal Violet Staining, a cytotoxicity assay, using Propidium Iodide Staining, as well as cell apoptosis assays, using Western Blot and flow cytometry.



(1)           Lu, J.; Guan, S.; Zhao, Y.; Yu, Y.; Woodfield, S. E.; Zhang, H.; Yang, K. L.; Bieerkehazhi, S.; Qi, L.; Li, X.; Gu, J.; Xu, X.; Jin, J.; Muscal, J. A.; Yang, T.; Xu, G.-T.; Yang, J. Cancer Letters 2017400, 61–68.

(2)           Mahmood, T.; Yang, P.-C. N Am J Med Sci 2012, 4(9), 429-434.

(3)           Wang, L.; Cheng, B.-F.; Yang, H.-J.; Wang, M.; Feng, Z.-W. Am J Transl Res 20157(9), 1541–1552.

(4)           Wlodkowic, D.; Skommer, J.; Darzynkiewicz, Z. Methods in Molecular Biology Apoptosis 2009, 19–32.






Division(s): Analytical

Speaker: Jenna Gordon

Speaker Institution: Colorado State University

Event Date: 11-01-2017

Event Time: 4:00 PM

Event Location: Chemistry A101

Mixer Time: 3:45 PM

Mixer Location: Chemistry B101E

Host: M. Reynolds