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Taurolidine Specifically Inhibits Growth of Neuroblastoma Cell Lines In Vitro

Luckert, Christian MD; Eschenburg, Georg PhD; Roth, Beate; Appl, Birgit; Reinshagen, Konrad MD, PhD; Bergholz, Robert MD

Journal of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology: May 2014 - Volume 36 - Issue 4 - p e219–e223
doi: 10.1097/MPH.0000000000000149
Online Articles: Original Articles

Background: Neuroblastoma is a common pediatric solid tumor with poor outcome for metastatic disease. Thus, novel therapeutic options are of main interest. The anti-neoplastic properties of taurolidine have been demonstrated on a variety of human cancer cells. However, data on neuroblastoma is lacking. Therefore, our aim was to evaluate the effect of taurolidine on growth of neuroblastoma cell lines.

Materials and Methods: Neuroblastoma SK-N-BE(2)-M17 and SK-N-SH cells and nonmalignant human umbilical vein endothelial cells as controls were incubated with increasing concentrations of taurolidine (100, 250, 500 µM). Cell growth was examined after 12, 24, and 48 hours of exposure.

Results: Inhibition of cell growth by taurolidine was seen in both malignant cell lines. When compared with human umbilical vein endothelial cells, the neuroblastoma cell lines were significantly more responsive to taurolidine.

Conclusions: The observed negative impact on cell growth, highly distinctive in SK-N-BE(2)-M17 and SK-N-SH, implies a taurolidine-specific mode of action that appears dependent on differences on cellular and molecular level. Further investigations are warranted to evaluate its mechanism and probable clinical use.

Department of Pediatric Surgery, University Medical Center Hamburg Eppendorf, Hamburg, Germany

C.L. and G.E. contributed equally.

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

Reprints: Robert Bergholz, MD, Department of Pediatric Surgery, University Medical Center Hamburg Eppendorf, Martinistrasse 52, Hamburg 20243, Germany (e-mail:

Received April 12, 2013

Accepted February 19, 2014

Copyright © 2014 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.