Hematopoietic growth factors (HGFs) are glycoproteins that control hemopoiesis. They have potential usefulness in a range of clinical conditions including the treatment of patients with myelosuppression induced by chemotherapy. Among HGFs, Stem Cell Factor (SCF) and Interleukin 6 (IL-6) are attracting interest for their capacity to stimulate early hematopoietic progenitors. Furthermore, their use in combination with late-acting growth factors with a more lineage-restricted potential (such as granulocyte colony-stimulating factor, G-CSF) might be expected to offer optimal marrow stimulation and usefulness in clinical oncology. Since non-hematopoietic malignant cells may express receptors for HGFs and respond to these peptides in vitro, we investigated clonal growth 3H-thymidine incorporation and cell cycle analysis by flow cytometry of 5 human solid tumor cell lines under the influence of SCF and IL-6 with or without G-CSF. Our experiments show that these cytokines have no effects on the proliferative capacity of the cell lines tested. Based on our and previously reported data, the use of these HGFs can be considered safe in cancer patients.
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