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The head and neck squamous cell carcinoma(HNSCC) affects an estimated 500,000 patients annually worldwide. At present, the combination therapy of chemotherapeutic agents, cisplatin and 5-fluorouracil(5-FU), has been used as a standard therapy for advanced HNSCC. In our previous report, E1B 19kDa-deleted adenovirus, Ad-mTERT-Δ19, which encode the E1A gene driven by the uniquely modified m-hTERT promoter, elicited enhanced viral replication and cytopathic effects in a cancer cell-specific manner. For the aim of improving the therapeutic efficacy for HNSCC cancer, we investigated the value of different combinations of various chemotherapeutic agents combined with Ad-mTERT-Δ19. We assessed the cytotoxic activity of each combination in four different HNSCC cancer cell lines, utilizing MTT assay. The induction of apoptosis was also synergistically increased in cancer cells treated with Ad-mTERT-Δ19 and chemotherapeutic agents, demonstrated by FACS analysis and TUNEL assay. Overall, this study presents strong evidence for a synergistic effect when treatment of Ad-mTERT-Δ19 is combined with chemotherapeutic agents.

[Proc Amer Assoc Cancer Res, Volume 47, 2006]