Reducing acute and chronic hypoxia in tumours by combining nicotinamide with carbogen breathing

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The ability of nicotinamide and carbogen breathing to improve the radiation response of a C3H mammary carcinoma by reducing both acute and chronic hypoxia was investigated. Using a tumour growth delay assay the response of 200 mm3 foot tumours to local irradiation was found to be increased by either injecting nicotinamide (100-1,000 mg/kg) 20 min prior to irradiation, or by allowing mice to breathe carbogen for 10 min before and during the radiation treatment. The greatest radiosensitization occurred when nicotinamide and carbogen were combined. With a histological fluorescent staining technique nicotinamide was shown to prevent transient stoppages in microregional blood flow, and also appeared to improve tumour oxygenation as measured with an Eppendorf oxygen electrode, both effects being consistent with its ability to decrease perfusion limited acute hypoxia. Carbogen had no effect on vessel closure, but it significantly improved tumour oxygenation, which was indicative of it reducing diffusion limited chronic hypoxia.
Original languageEnglish
JournalActa Oncologica
Pages (from-to)371-6
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - 1994


  • Animals
  • Carbon Dioxide
  • Cell Hypoxia
  • Female
  • Mammary Neoplasms, Experimental
  • Mice
  • Niacinamide
  • Oxygen
  • Partial Pressure
  • Radiation-Sensitizing Agents


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