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This article is part of the supplement: Abstracts of the 16th International Charles Heidelberger Symposium on Cancer Research

Open Access Poster presentation

Antitumoral effect of farnesiltransferase and mtor inhibitors in hepatocellular carcinoma: in vitro studies

Ana M Araújo1*, Sílvia S Neves2, Ana L Ferreira1, Diogo Branco1, Ana B Sarmento-Ribeiro12 and José M Nascimento-Costa123

Author Affiliations

1 Faculty of Medicine, University of Coimbra (FMUC), Coimbra, Portugal

2 Center of Investigation on Environment, Genetics and Oncobiology (CIMAGO), FMUC, Coimbra, Portugal

3 Medicine Service and Hepatology Unit, University Hospital of Coimbra, Coimbra, Portugal

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BMC Proceedings 2010, 4(Suppl 2):P49  doi:10.1186/1753-6561-4-S2-P49

The electronic version of this article is the complete one and can be found online at:

Published:24 September 2010

© 2010 Araújo et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

Poster presentation

Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is one of the most common cancers worldwide, often diagnosed at an advanced stage when the most potentially curative strategies are no longer effective. Advances in the understanding of tumor biology are opening new paths for the prevention and treatment of HCC, through the development of new targeted therapies. The design of drugs that block different growth-promoting pathways, activate apoptotic pathways may also open new horizons in the treatment of HCC.

The aim of this study was to test the efficacy of new targeted drugs involved in signalling pathways, such as farnesiltransferase (L-744832) and mTOR inhibitors (everolimus) in a HCC cell line (HUH-7 cells).

The HUH-7 cells were cultured in absence and presence of different concentrations of L-744832 and everolimus. The antiproliferative effect was assessed by the Alamar Blue assay and cell death by optic microscopy and flow cytometry.

Our results showed that farnesiltransferase and mTOR inhibitors had an antiproliferative and cytotoxic effects in monotherapy in a dose and time dependent manner, inducing cell death preferentially by apoptosis. On, the other hand, the combination of L-744832 and everolimus with conventional anticarcinogenic drugs demonstrated a higher antiproliferative and cytotoxic effect for lower doses than the IC50 used in monotherapy (addition or potentiation synergism).

These results suggested that farnesiltransferase and mTOR inhibitors may constitute a new potential therapeutic approach in HCC either in monotherapy or in association with conventional therapies.