The effect of the non-ionic surfactant brij 30 on the cytotoxicity of adriamycin in monolayer, spheroid and clonogenic culture systems

D.J. Kerr, T.E. Wheldon, J.G. Russell, H.R. Maurer, A.T. Florence, G.W. Halbert, R.I. Freshney, S.B. Kaye

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The effects of a non-ionic polyoxyethylated lauryl ether surfactant (Brij 30) on monolayer uptake and spheroid penetration of adriamycin have been studied. Co-incubation of adriamycin with Brij 30 increases intracellular adriamycin levels by 2-3-fold. Although, in the concentrations used, Brij 30 alone is not cytotoxic, adriamycin and Brij 30 mixtures are significantly more cytotoxic (monlayer id90 = 0.6 μg/ml; disaggregated spheroid id30 = 1.9 μg/ml) and induce significantly longer spheroid growth delay than adriamycin alone (monolayer id90 = 2.1 μg/ml; disaggregated spheroid id50 = 3.3 μg/ml). Adriamycin is equally cytotoxic to mouse normal granulocytes and chronic myeloid leukaemic (M1 cell line) cells in agar clonogenic cultures. The addition of Brij 30 appears to enhance preferentially the activity of adriamycin against these tumour cells relative to the normal granulocytes.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages7
JournalEuropean Journal of Cancer and Clinical Oncology
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 30 Sep 1987


  • Brij 30
  • cytotoxic
  • spheroid growth delay
  • tumour cells

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