Mepacrine is no longer used as anti-malaria drug but rather as an antitumour drug. A previous in vivo study of ours showed that Primaquine speed up the development of Ehrlich ascites tumour and rapidly lead to the death of the infected rats. In the light of these observations, an in vitro study was undertaken to assess the response of human tumour cells to various anti-malarial drugs and consequently the safety of the anti-malarial therapy. Materials and Methods: MCF-7 cells and Vero cells (control line) were cultured in Eagle’s minimum Essential medium (EMEM) and then subjected to graded concentrations of different anti-malarial drugs. Trypan-blue exclusion, MTT and Western blotting tests were performed. Results: The findings showed that pyrimethamine (12.5 mg/L), chloroquine (12.5 mg/L) and primaquine (1.56 mg/L) stimulated MCF-7 cell growth. The proliferative effect was inhibited by doxorubicin only in cultures treated with chloroquine and primaquine. Results indicate that the combination with doxorubicine reduces the stimulating effects of chloroquine, while the combination doxorubicine/pirimethamine significantly improves MCF7 cell growth. We concluded that some anti-malarial drugs have a worrying tumour-promoting effect which should not be underestimated when undertaking anti-malarial prophylactic measures.
“In Vitro” investigation on the effects of some antimalarial drugs on MCF-7 and VERO cell replication / Rossi, T.; Coppi, Antonella; Zandomeneghi, G.; Lodi, S.; Ruberto, A; Baggio, G.. - In: ANTICANCER RESEARCH. - ISSN 0250-7005. - STAMPA. - 24 (5D):(2004), pp. 3614-3614. (Intervento presentato al convegno SEVENTH INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE OF ANTICANCER RESEARCH tenutosi a CORFÙ (GREECE) nel 25-30 OCTOBER).