We report that tumor necrosis factor α (TNF-α) mRNA is increased after treatment with x-rays in certain human sarcoma cells. An increase in TNF-α mRNA is accompanied by the increased production of TNF-α protein. TNF-α enhances radiation lethality in both TNF-α-producing and -nonproducing tumor cells. These data suggest that, in addition to the direct cytotoxic effects of x-rays, production of TNF-α may add to radiation lethality through autocrine and paracrine mechanisms. Combinations of TNF-α and therapeutic radiation may be useful in clinical cancer therapy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)10104-10107
Number of pages4
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number24
StatePublished - 1989


  • Gene expression


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