Synergistic Effects of Hydroxychloroquine on the Activity of Thiomaltol against Melanoma Cancer Cells
Although melanoma accounts for a very small percentage of all skin cancer cases, it is the most responsible for skin cancer related deaths. Therapeutic agents that induce apoptosis in the cancer cells have been heavily researched. Some recent research has focused on enhancing the effects of apoptotic agents by blocking autophagy, a cancer survival mechanism where the cells digest themselves. Research has shown that inhibiting this pathway with certain drugs can lead to cell death at a greater rate than by using apoptosis inducing agents alone. However, the universal application of blocking autophagy is debated by most researchers. The main question this study seeks to answer is whether the effects of an autophagy blocking agent used alongside an apoptosis inducing drug will increase cell death at levels higher than using the drug alone. The apoptotic drug used is thiomaltol (Htma). The autophagy blocking agent used is hydroxychloroquine (HCQ). The two compounds are tested against B16F1 melanoma cells from mice. Overall, data indicates that although the activity of Htma in these cells is not as high compared to other cell lines, there is an increase in cell death when both Htma and HCQ are administered. This increase in activity is higher when the compounds are administered over an extended period of time.