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02.09.2020 | original article

HS-173, a selective PI3K inhibitor, induces cell death in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma cell lines

Wiener klinische Wochenschrift
MD Elisabeth Foki, MD Isabella Stanisz, MD Lorenz Kadletz, MD Ulana Kotowski, MD, DMD, MSc, MBA Rudolf Seemann, MD Rainer Schmid, MD, PD Gregor Heiduschka
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The selective PI3K (Phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase) inhibitor HS-173 has anticancer activity in non-small cell lung cancer and pancreatic cancer cells. Of all head and neck squamous cell carcinomas (HNSCC) 20% harbor specific mutations in the genome. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of HS-173 on HNSCC cell lines.


The cell lines SCC25, CAL27 and FaDu were incubated with HS-173. Its antiproliferative effect was determined using the CCK‑8 cell proliferation assay. Combined incubation with cisplatin was performed and combination index analysis was conducted. To investigate its effect on radiotherapy, cells were irradiated with 2, 4, 6 and 8 Gy, respectively. Synergistic effects of radiation and HS-173 were measured by proliferation assays and clonogenic survival.


The use of HS-173 induced significant reduction of cell proliferation across all cell lines. Most interestingly, it showed a synergistic effect with cisplatin treatment. Clonogenic survival revealed a radiosensitizing effect in CAL27 and FaDu cells. The HS-173 caused significant induction of apoptosis in SCC25 and FaDu cells.


The selective PI3K inhibitor HS-173 is a potent chemosensitizing and also radiosensitizing drug in treatment of HNSCC cell lines and could be an effective treatment in PI3K-mutated HNSCC.

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