Tumor necrosis factor (TNF) was cytotoxic at concentrations of 10 to 1000 units/ml to 12 of 14 human tumor cell lines. Synergistic or additive cell killing between TNF and radiation was observed in 7 of 10 tumor cell lines, while independent tumor cell killing by each agent occurred in two tumor cell lines. The maximum synergistic effect was observed when TNF was added 4-12 hr prior to irradiation. This interaction was absent when TNF was added after irradiation. TNF also reduced potentially lethal damage repair in 3 of 5 cell lines tested. Possible mechanisms of interaction of TNF and X rays including induction of hydroxyl radicals and subsequent DNA damage by TNF and radiation are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)69-74
Number of pages6
JournalInternational journal of radiation oncology, biology, physics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 1990


  • Human tumor cell lines
  • Ionizing radiation
  • Synergy
  • Tumor necrosis factor


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