The effect of epidermal growth factor (EGF) on the in vitro growth of 186 malignant human tumor specimens (45 melanomas, 32 sarcomas, and 56 lung, 16 gynecological, 14 breast, 12 genitourinary, and 11 gastrointestinal carcinomas) was evaluated in the cellular adhesive matrix human tumor culture system supplemented with transferrin, insulin, hydrocortisone, and estradiol. EGF increased tumor growth by at least 50% in 81% of the 186 tumors and by over 100% in 54%. The enhanced growth induced by EGF was related to an accelerated cellular division independent of tumor type and not to an increase in the actual number of clonogenic units. The drug concentrations of cell cycle-independent Adriamycin and cisplatin needed to achieve a 90% tumor cell kill were not altered by the responsiveness of the tumor to EGF.

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This work was supported by Contract JMV:bg 11783 from LifeTrac, Ltd., Irvine, CA.

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