gms | German Medical Science

76th Annual Meeting of the German Society of Oto-Rhino-Laryngology, Head and Neck Surgery

German Society of Oto-Rhino-Laryngology, Head and Neck Surgery

04.05. - 08.05.2005, Erfurt

Relevance of Nucleotide Excision Repair of Cisplatin-Induced Chemoresistance in Squamous Cell Carcinoma of the Head and Neck (SCCHN)

Meeting Abstract

  • corresponding author Claudia Ditz - HNO-Universitätsklinik Lübeck
  • Beate Koeberle - University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA, USA
  • Carsten Schaefer - HNO-Universitätsklinik Mannheim
  • Ralf Pries - HNO-Universitätsklinik Lübeck
  • Ingo Kausch - HNO-Universitätsklinik Lübeck
  • Barbara Wollenberg - HNO-Universitätsklinik Lübeck
  • author Andreas Albers - HNO-Universitätsklinik Lübeck

Deutsche Gesellschaft für Hals-Nasen-Ohren-Heilkunde, Kopf- und Hals-Chirurgie. 76. Jahresversammlung der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Hals-Nasen-Ohren-Heilkunde, Kopf- und Hals-Chirurgie e.V.. Erfurt, 04.-08.05.2005. Düsseldorf, Köln: German Medical Science; 2005. Doc05hno623

The electronic version of this article is the complete one and can be found online at:

Published: September 22, 2005

© 2005 Ditz et al.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( You are free: to Share – to copy, distribute and transmit the work, provided the original author and source are credited.



Introduction: In mammalian cells, DNA damage caused by cisplatin is removed mainly by nucleotide excision repair (NER). While only temporary results can be obtained in SCCHN, 80% of patients with metastatic testis tumors can be cured with cisplatin-based combination chemotherapy. So far, it was found that cell lines derived from testis tumors have a low capacity to remove cisplatin-induced damage from their DNA due to low levels of the DNA nucleotide excision repair proteins (NER) XPA, ERCC1 and XPF. The objective of this study was to describe the relevance of NER as a mechanism of cisplatin resistance in SCCHN and to develop innovative approaches to restore sensitivity to cisplatin.

Methods: Levels of the NER Proteins XPA, ERCC1 and XPF were determined and quantified by real time PCR and western blotting. Sensitivity to cisplatin in a number of SCCHN cell lines was determined by MTT Assay.

Results: SCCHN cell lines show higher levels of the NER proteins XPA, ERCC1 and XPF relative to testis tumor cell lines. Increased levels of cisplatin resistance in the investigated cell linies correlated with high NER expression.

Conclusion: Our results suggest that SCCHN has relative to testis tumor cell lines an improved DNA-repair capacity of DNA damage caused by cisplatin. The results correlate with the elevated cisplatin resistance of SCCHN in vitro and in vivo. In the future the systematic inhibition of NER could restore sensitivity to cisplatin-based chemotherapy in SCCHN and thereby advance the development of new threatment strategies.