The Open Translational Medicine Journal


ISSN: 1876-3995 ― Volume 3, 2014

Differential Effects of Recombinant Human EGF on Proliferation and Radiation Survival of Normal Fibroblast and Cancer Cell Lines

Eun-Kyung Kwon1, 2, 4, Seung-Hee Lee1, Kyubo Kim1, Hong-Gyun Wu* , 1, 4, Sang-wook Lee5
1 Department of Radiation Oncology, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul, Republic of Korea
2 Cancer Research Institute, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul, Republic of Korea
3 Institute of Radiation Medicine, Medical Research Center, Seoul National University, Seoul, Republic of Korea
4 Radiation Applied Life Science Interdisciplinary Course, Seoul National University Graduate School, Seoul, Republic of Korea
5 Department of Radiation Oncology, University of Ulsan, College of Medicine, Asan Medical Center, Seoul, Republic of Korea



To evaluate the effects of recombinant human epidermal growth factor (rhEGF) on proliferation and radiation survival of normal fibroblast and cancer cell lines both in vitro and in vivo.


Using normal fibroblast and cancer cell lines, we evaluated the expression of EGFR, and determined their proli-feration and survival with rhEGF alone or in combination with radiation. For the combination treatments, we applied 10 nM rhEGF and delivered single radiation doses of 0, 2, 5, and 10 Gy. In the animal study, we introduced EMT-6 cells into BALB/c mice to assay for tumor growth delay. We applied single radiation dose of 10 or 20 Gy, with or without 1.0 mg/Kg of rhEGF, three times a day, for 7 days.


In a dose-dependent manner, rhEGF stimulated proliferation of the normal fibroblast, but not the cancer cell lines with low or intermediate expression of EGFR. rhEGF inhibited proliferation of the cancer cell line with the highest EGFR expression. Administration of rhEGF in combination with radiation attenuated the cell killing effect of radiation in normal fibroblast, but it had no effect or even augmented the radiation effect in cancer cell lines. In the animal study, we observed no difference in tumor growth rates when rhEGF was combined with radiation compared to radiation alone.


Our results suggested that rhEGF might be useful in preventing and/or treating radiation-induced injury without stimulating tumor growth.


rhEGF effectively stimulated proliferation and radiation recovery in normal fibroblasts without promoting the growth of tumor cells. Therefore, it might be useful in preventing and/or treating radiation-induced tissue injury.

Presented at the 49th Annual Meeting of the American Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology, Oct 28-Nov 1, 2007, Los Angeles, CA.

Keywords: Recombinant human epidermal growth factor, radiotherapy, in vitro study, in vivo study.

Article Information

Identifiers and Pagination:

Year: 2009
Volume: 1
First Page: 9
Last Page: 15
Publisher Id: TOTRANSMJ-1-9
DOI: 10.2174/1876399500901010009

Article History:

Received Date: 30/4/2009
Revision Received Date: 11/1/2009
Acceptance Date: 11/6/2009
Electronic publication date: 5 /11/2009
Collection year: 2009

© Kwon et al.; Licensee Bentham Open.

open-access license: This is an open access article licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted, non-commercial use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the work is properly cited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Department of Radiation Oncology, Seoul National University College of Medicine, 101 Daehangno, Jongno-gu, Seoul 110-774, Republic of Korea; Tel: +82-2-2072-3177; Fax: +82-2-765-3317; E-mail:

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