Enhancing radiation response by a second-generation TRAIL receptor agonist using a new in vitro organoid model system.



APG-880 is a potent inducer of apoptosis in CRC cell lines and in patient-derived CRC organoids. Furthermore, a supra-additive effect on cytotoxicity was found when APG-880 and radiation were combined simultaneously, with combination indices around 0.7. Lastly, in the long-term survival assays, we demonstrated a radiosensitizing effect of APG-880 with dose enhancement factors between 1.3 and 1.5.


To investigate the effect of APG-880 in combination with radiation we performed short-term cytotoxicity and long-term clonogenic survival assays in established CRC cell lines, and in tumor organoids derived from colon cancer patients.


For many cancer types, including colorectal carcinoma (CRC), combined modality treatments have shown to improve outcome, but are frequently associated with significant toxicity, illustrating the need for new therapeutic approaches. Based on preclinical data, TRAIL receptor agonists appeared to be promising agents for cancer therapy especially in combination with DNA damaging regimens. Here, we present the combination of the second-generation TRAIL receptor agonist APG-880 with radiation in a new and clinically relevant 3D model system.


In a new, clinically relevant CRC-organoid model system we demonstrated a more than additive combined effect between the second-generation TRAIL receptor agonist APG-880 and radiation.

More about this publication

Clinical and translational radiation oncology
  • Volume 24
  • Pages 1-9
  • Publication date 01-09-2020

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