We have studied the influence of verapamil hydrochloride on the in vitro and in vivo effects of daunorubicin in Ehrlich ascites carcinoma. Daunorubicin-sensitive tumor was rendered resistant to daunorubicin by the continuous treatment of sequential generations of tumor-bearing BALB/c mice. The ability of daunorubicin to inhibit [3H]uridine and [3H]thymidine incorporation and the effect of daunorubicin on the mean survival time of host animals bearing daunorubicin-sensitive and daunorubicin-resistant Ehrlich ascites carcinoma were compared. The addition of verapamil to daunorubicin in vitro reduced the concentration of daunorubicin required to inhibit 50% of DNA and RNA synthesis in the daunorubicin-resistant tumor to that required in the daunorubicin-sensitive tumor, from 6 and 4.4 μg/ml to 1.5 and 1.3 μg/ml, respectively. Verapamil also restored drug sensitivity to daunorubicin-resistant Ehrlich ascites carcinoma in vivo. The 21.7±0.7 d mean survival time (MST) of BALB/c mice bearing daunorubicin-resistant tumor treated with daunorubicin alone rose to 44.0±0.7 d when the same tumor was treated with verapamil and daunorubicin, P < 0.001. This in vivo effect is specific for daunorubicin-resistant Ehrlich ascites carcinoma, since there is no alteration in MST of BALB/c mice bearing daunorubicin-sensitive or daunorubicin-resistant tumor when they are treated with verapamil alone or when BALB/c mice bearing daunorubicin-sensitive tumor are treated with daunorubicin and verapamil.
Lewis M. Slater, Sandra L. Murray, Martha W. Wetzel, Ronald M. Wisdom, Emily M. Duvall