Toremifene enhances cell cycle block and growth inhibition by vinblastine in multidrug resistant human breast cancer cells

W. Jeffrey Baker, Juhani U. Maenpaa, Gregory T. Wurz, Steven K. Koester, Robert C. Seymour, Vernon D. Emshoff, Valerie J. Wiebe, Michael W. DeGregorio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


The clinical study of compounds that modulate multidrug resistance has been hindered by both the toxicities of these agents and the inability to monitor their effectiveness at the level of the tumor cell. Previously, toremifene has been shown to be well tolerated clinically and to sensitize multidrug resistant cells to the effects of cytotoxic chemotherapeutic agents. The chemosensitizing properties of toremifene in estrogen receptor negative, multidrug resistant MDA-MB-A1 human breast cancer cells were studied using flow cytometric analysis and growth inhibition assays. Cell cycle kinetics of MDA-MB-A1 cells were not significantly affected by treatment with either toremifene, N-desmethyltoremifene, Toremifene IV or vinblastine alone, as the majority of cells remained in G0 G1. However, preincubation with toremifene or one of its metabolites for 72 hours followed by treatment for one hour with vinblastine caused a marked shift of cells to G2 M, as cells appeared to be blocked in that phase of the cell cycle. This result was nearly identical to the effect of vinblastine alone on vinblastine-sensitive MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cells and can be interpreted as a "resensitization" by toremifene of MDA-MB-A1 cells to vinblastine. This chemosensitizing effect of toremifene was accompanied by an enhanced inhibition of cell growth by vinblastine. The chemosensitizing effects of toremifene or one of its metabolites in combination with cytotoxic chemotherapy can be effectively monitored by flow cytometry, an easily accessible technique.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)207-212
Number of pages6
JournalOncology Research
Issue number6-7
StatePublished - 1993
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research


Dive into the research topics of 'Toremifene enhances cell cycle block and growth inhibition by vinblastine in multidrug resistant human breast cancer cells'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this