Inhibition of mesothelioma cell growth in vitro by doxycycline

Jeffrey B. Rubins, Darlene Charboneau, Michael D. Alter, Peter B Bitterman, Robert A Kratzke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


Malignant mesothelioma causes profound morbidity and nearly universal mortality that is often refractory to conventional treatment modalities of aggressive surgery, radiotherapy, or chemotherapy. Doxycycline, a commonly used antibiotic, has anti-tumor activity against several malignancies, but its anti-tumor effects on malignant mesothelioma have not been evaluated. We report here that concentrations of doxycycline achievable in serum with typical oral doses had cytostatic effects to varying extent on all eight of the mesothelioma cell lines studied but did not affect normal lung fibroblasts. Doxycycline inhibited the production of mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase, especially in mesothelioma cells more sensitive to its cytostatic effects, and directly inhibited gelatinase A activity; both of these activities are putative mechanisms for the cytostatic activity of doxycycline in other tumor cells. Thus doxycycline may have a role as adjuvant therapy for malignant mesothelioma.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)101-106
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Laboratory and Clinical Medicine
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2001

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health (AI-042240 to J.B.R.), the Department of Veterans Affairs, and the Minnesota Medical Foundation (R.A.K.).

Copyright 2017 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


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