Thermoradiosensitivity of 8 cell lines of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HO-1-u-1, HSC2, HSC3, HSC4, SAS, KB, Hep2, and Ca9-22) was investigated. The differences of radiosensitivity between the cell line with the highest radiosensitivity and the cell line with the lowest radiosensitivity were 1.7-, 7.7-, and 41-fold at 2, 6 and 8 Gy, respectively. The differences between the cell line with the highest thermosensitivity and the cell line with the lowest thermosensitivity were 2.4-, 6.2- and 34.4-fold at 43 degrees C for 40, 60 and 100 min, and 2.6-, 4.9- and 127-fold at 44 degrees C for 20, 30 and 50 min, respectively. These findings indicated that there were large differences in both radiosensitivity and thermosensitivity among the 8 cell lines. There was a negative relationship between radiosensitivity and thermosensitivity (43 degrees C: r=-0.600, 44 degrees C: r=-0.848) in 7 of 8 cell lines, the exception being the HSC4 cell line, which was resistant to both therapies. Four of the 8 cell lines at 43 degrees C and 5 at 44 degrees C in the radiotherapy combined with thermotherapy showed actual survival rates smaller than the theoretical survival rates. Thus, thermoradiotherapy was deemed effective in the head and neck carcinoma cell lines, although 1 of 8 cell lines was resistant to both radiotherapy and thermotherapy.
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