N-acetylcysteine chemoprotection without decreased cisplatin antitumor efficacy in pediatric tumor models

Leslie L. Muldoon, Y. Jeffrey Wu, Michael A. Pagel, Edward A. Neuwelt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Decreasing oxidative damage with the antioxidant agent N-acetylcysteine (NAC) can block the side effects of chemotherapy, but may diminish anti-tumor efficacy. We tested the potential for interactions of high dose NAC against a minimally effective cisplatin chemotherapy regimen in rat models of human pediatric cancers. Athymic rats received subcutaneous implantation of human SK-N-AS neuroblastoma cells or intra-cerebellar implantation of human D283-MED medulloblastoma cells. Rats were untreated or treated with cisplatin (3 or 4 mg/kg IV) with or without NAC (1,000 mg/kg IV) 30 min before or 4 h after cisplatin treatment. Blood urea nitrogen (BUN) and tumor volumes were measured. Cisplatin decreased the growth of SK-N-AS neuroblastoma subcutaneous tumors from 17.7 ± 4.9 to 6.4 ± 2.5 fold over baseline 2 weeks after treatment (P < 0.001). Pretreatment with NAC decreased cisplatin efficacy, while 4 h delayed NAC did not significantly affect cisplatin anti-tumor effects (relative tumor volume 6.8 ± 2.0 fold baseline, P < 0.001). In D283-MED medulloblastoma brain tumors, cisplatin decreased final tumor volume to 3.9 ± 2.3 mm3 compared to untreated tumor volume of 45.9 ± 38.7 (P = 0.008). Delayed NAC did not significantly alter cisplatin efficacy (tumor volume 6.8 ± 8.1 mm3, P = 0.014 versus control). Cisplatin was minimally nephrotoxic in these models. NAC decreased cisplatin-induced elevations in BUN (P < 0.02). NAC chemoprotection did not alter cisplatin therapy, if delayed until 4 h after chemotherapy. These data support a Phase I/II clinical trial of delayed NAC to reduce ototoxicity in children with localized pediatric cancers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)433-440
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Neuro-Oncology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Feb 2015


  • Animal models
  • Medulloblastoma
  • Nephrotoxicity
  • Neuroblastoma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cancer Research


Dive into the research topics of 'N-acetylcysteine chemoprotection without decreased cisplatin antitumor efficacy in pediatric tumor models'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this