Lack of cell death enhancement after irradiation by monochromatic synchrotron X rays at the K-Shell edge of platinum incorporated in living SQ20B human cells as cis-diamminedichloroplatinum (II)
In this paper we describe the results of experiments using synchrotron radiation to trigger the Auger effect in living human cancer cells treated with a widely used chemotherapy drug: cisdiamminedichloroplatinum (II) (cisplatin). The experiments were carried out at the ID17 beamline of the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility, which produces a high-fluence monochromatic beam that is adjustable from 20 to 80 keV. Cisplatin was chosen as the carrier of platinum atoms in the cells because of its alkylating-like activity and the irradiation was done with monochromatic beams above and below the platinum K-shell edge (78.39 keV). Cell survival curves were comparable with those obtained for the same cells under conventional irradiation conditions. At a low dose of cisplatin (0.1 mM, 48 h), no difference was seen in survival when the cells were irradiated above and below the K-shell edge of platinum. Higher cisplatin concentrations were investigated to enhance the cellular platinum content. The results with 1 mM cisplatin for 12 h showed no difference when the cells were irradiated with beams above or below the platinum K-shell edge with the exception of the higher cell death resulting from drug toxicity. The intracellular content of platinum was significant, as measured macroscopically by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry. Its subcellular localization and particularly its presence in the cell nucleus were verified by microscopic synchrotron X-ray fluorescence. This was the first known attempt at K-shell edge photon activation of stable platinum in living cells with a platinum complex used for chemotherapy. Its evident toxicity in these cells leads us to put forth the hypothesis that cisplatin toxicity can mask the enhancement of cell death induced by the irradiation above the K-shell edge. However, K-shell edge photon activation of stable elements provides a powerful technique for the understanding of the biological effects of Auger processes. Further avenues of development are discussed.