Synergistic and targeted therapy with a procaspase-3 activator and temozolomide extends survival in glioma rodent models and is feasible for the treatment of canine malignant glioma patients.
ABSTRACT: Glioblastoma is a deadly brain cancer with a median survival time of ?15 months. Ionizing radiation plus the DNA alkylator temozolomide (TMZ) is the current standard therapy. PAC-1, a procaspase-3 activating small molecule, is blood-brain barrier penetrant and has previously demonstrated ability to synergize with diverse pro-apoptotic chemotherapeutics. We studied if PAC-1 could enhance the activity of TMZ, and whether addition of PAC-1 to standard treatment would be feasible in spontaneous canine malignant gliomas.Using cell lines and online gene expression data, we identified procaspase-3 as a potential molecular target for most glioblastomas. We investigated PAC-1 as a single agent and in combination with TMZ against glioma cells in culture and in orthotopic rodent models of glioma. Three dogs with spontaneous gliomas were treated with an analogous human glioblastoma treatment protocol, with concurrent PAC-1.Procaspase-3 is expressed in gliomas, with higher gene expression correlating with increased tumor grade and decreased prognosis. PAC-1 is cytotoxic to glioma cells in culture and active in orthotopic rodent glioma models. PAC-1 added to TMZ treatments in cell culture increases apoptotic death, and the combination significantly increases survival in orthotopic glioma models. Addition of PAC-1 to TMZ and radiation was well-tolerated in 3 out of 3 pet dogs with spontaneous glioma, and partial to complete tumor reductions were observed.Procaspase-3 is a clinically relevant target for treatment of glioblastoma. Synergistic activity of PAC-1/TMZ in rodent models and the demonstration of feasibility of the combined regime in canine patients suggest potential for PAC-1 in the treatment of glioblastoma.
Project description:As a major contributor of chemotherapy resistance and malignant recurrence, glioma stem cells (GSCs) have been proposed as a target for the treatment of gliomas. To evaluate the therapeutic potential of quetiapine (QUE), an atypical antipsychotic, for the treatment of malignant glioma, we established mouse models with GSCs-initiated orthotopic xenograft gliomas and subcutaneous xenograft tumors, using GSCs purified from glioblastoma cell line GL261. We investigated antitumor effects of QUE on xenograft gliomas and its underlying mechanisms on GSCs. Our data demonstrated that (i) QUE monotherapy can effectively suppress GSCs-initiated tumor growth; (ii) QUE has synergistic effects with temozolomide (TMZ) on glioma suppression, and importantly, QUE can effectively suppress TMZ-resistant (or -escaped) tumors generated from GSCs; (iii) mechanistically, the anti-glioma effect of QUE was due to its actions of promoting the differentiation of GSCs into oligodendrocyte (OL)-like cells and its inhibitory effect on the Wnt/?-catenin signaling pathway. Together, our findings suggest an effective approach for anti-gliomagenic treatment via targeting OL-oriented differentiation of GSCs. This also opens a door for repurposing QUE, an FDA approved drug, for the treatment of malignant glioma.
Project description:Temozolomide (TMZ), an alkylating agent, is widely used for treating primary and recurrent high-grade gliomas. However, the efficacy of TMZ is often limited by the development of resistance. Recently, studies have found that TMZ treatment could induce autophagy, which contributes to therapy resistance in glioma. To enhance the benefit of TMZ in the treatment of glioblastomas, effective combination strategies are needed to sensitize glioblastoma cells to TMZ. In this regard, as autophagy could promote cell survival or autophagic cell death, modulating autophagy using a pharmacological inhibitor, such as chloroquine, or an inducer, such as rapamycin, has received considerably more attention. To understand the effectiveness of regulating autophagy in glioblastoma treatment, this review summarizes reports on glioblastoma treatments with TMZ and autophagic modulators from in vitro and in vivo studies, as well as clinical trials. Additionally, we discuss the possibility of using autophagy regulatory compounds that can sensitive TMZ treatment as a chemotherapy for glioma treatment.
Project description:<h4>Purpose</h4>Age is a major prognostic factor for malignant gliomas. However, few studies have investigated the management of gliomas in young adults. We determined the role of survival and treatment in young adults with advanced gliomas in a large population from the Chinese Glioma Genome Atlas (CGGA).<h4>Methods</h4>This study included 726 adults (age ? 18) with histologically proven anaplastic glioma or glioblastoma multiforme (GBM). The overall and progression-free survival was determined in young (age < 50) and older groups (age ? 50).<h4>Results</h4>The study included an older group (OP) of 264 patients and a younger group (YP) of 462patients. In the OP group with GBM and anaplastic glioma, patients treated with RT combined with temozolomide (TMZ) manifested significantly longer OS and PFS compared with patients assigned to RT alone (P < 0.05). In contrast, the YP group diagnosed with anaplastic glioma failed to show any survival advantage with RT plus TMZ compared with RT alone.<h4>Conclusions</h4>We observed no survival benefit in young adults (age < 50) with anaplastic glioma when treated with TMZ combined with RT. Our findings warrant further investigation of younger patients diagnosed with anaplastic glioma treated with radiotherapy plus TMZ chemotherapy.
Project description:Glioma are the most common type of malignant brain tumor, with glioblastoma (GBM) representing the most common and most lethal type of glioma. Surgical resection followed by radiotherapy and chemotherapy using the alkylating agent Temozolomide (TMZ) remain the mainstay of treatment for glioma. While this multimodal regimen is sufficient to temporarily eliminate the bulk of the tumor mass, recurrence is inevitable and often poses major challenges for clinical management due to treatment resistance and failure to respond to targeted therapies. Improved tumor profiling capacity has enabled characterization of the genomic landscape of gliomas with the overarching goal to identify clinically relevant subtypes and inform treatment decisions. Increased tumor mutational load has been shown to correlate with higher levels of neoantigens and is indicative of the potential to induce a durable response to immunotherapy. Following treatment with TMZ, a subset of glioma has been identified to recur with increased tumor mutational load. These hypermutant recurrent glioma represent a subtype of recurrence with unique molecular vulnerabilities. In this review, we will elaborate on the current knowledge regarding the evolution of hypermutation in gliomas and the potential therapeutic opportunities that arise with TMZ-induced hypermutation in gliomas.
Project description:Mismatch repair (MMR) deficiency through MSH6 inactivation has been identified in up to 30% of recurrent high-grade gliomas, and represents a key molecular mechanism underlying the acquired resistance to the alkylating agent temozolomide (TMZ). To develop a therapeutic strategy that could be effective in these TMZ-refractory gliomas, we first screened 13 DNA damage response modulators for their ability to suppress viability of MSH6-inactivated, TMZ-resistant glioma cells. We identified a PLK1 selective inhibitor, Volasertib, as the most potent in inhibiting proliferation of glioblastoma cells. PLK1 inhibition induced mitotic catastrophe, G2-M cell-cycle arrest, and DNA damage, leading to caspase-mediated apoptosis in glioblastoma cells. Importantly, therapeutic effects of PLK1 inhibitors were not influenced by MSH6 knockdown, indicating that their action is independent of MMR status of the cells. Systemic treatment with Volasertib potently inhibited tumor growth in an MMR-deficient, TMZ-resistant glioblastoma xenograft model. Further in vitro testing in established and patient-derived cell line panels revealed an association of PLK1 inhibitor efficacy with cellular Myc expression status. We found that cells with deregulated Myc are vulnerable to PLK1 inhibition, as Myc overexpression sensitizes, whereas its silencing desensitizes, glioblastoma cells to PLK1 inhibitors. This discovery is clinically relevant as glioma progression post-TMZ treatment is frequently accompanied by MYC genomic amplification and/or pathway activation. In conclusion, PLK inhibitor represents a novel therapeutic option for recurrent gliomas, including those TMZ-resistant from MMR deficiency. Genomic MYC alteration may serve as a biomarker for PLK inhibitor sensitivity, as Myc-driven tumors demonstrated pronounced responses.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), the most common form of brain cancer with an average survival of less than 12 months, is a highly aggressive and fatal disease characterized by survival of glioma cells following initial treatment, invasion through the brain parenchyma and destruction of normal brain tissues, and ultimately resistance to current treatments. Temozolomide (TMZ) is commonly used chemotherapy for treatment of primary and recurrent high-grade gliomas. Nevertheless, the therapeutic outcome of TMZ is often unsatisfactory. In this study, we sought to determine whether eEF-2 kinase affected the sensitivity of glioma cells to treatment with TMZ.<h4>Methodology/principal findings</h4>Using RNA interference approach, a small molecule inhibitor of eEF-2 kinase, and in vitro and in vivo glioma models, we observed that inhibition of eEF-2 kinase could enhance sensitivity of glioma cells to TMZ, and that this sensitizing effect was associated with blockade of autophagy and augmentation of apoptosis caused by TMZ.<h4>Conclusions/significance</h4>These findings demonstrated that targeting eEF-2 kinase can enhance the anti-glioma activity of TMZ, and inhibitors of this kinase may be exploited as chemo-sensitizers for TMZ in treatment of malignant glioma.
Project description:Cancer stem cells are rare tumor cells characterized by their ability to self-renew and to induce tumorigenesis. They are present in gliomas and may be responsible for the lethality of these incurable brain tumors. In the most aggressive and invasive type, glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), an average of about one year spans the period between detection and death . The resistence of gliomas to current therapies may be related to the existence of cancer stem cells [2-6]. We find that human gliomas display a stemness signature and demonstrate that HEDGEHOG (HH)-GLI signaling regulates the expression of stemness genes in and the self-renewal of CD133(+) glioma cancer stem cells. HH-GLI signaling is also required for sustained glioma growth and survival. It displays additive and synergistic effects with temozolomide (TMZ), the current chemotherapeutic agent of choice. TMZ, however, does not block glioma stem cell self-renewal. Finally, interference of HH-GLI signaling with cyclopamine or through lentiviral-mediated silencing demonstrates that the tumorigenicity of human gliomas in mice requires an active pathway. Our results reveal the essential role of HH-GLI signaling in controlling the behavior of human glioma cancer stem cells and offer new therapeutic possibilities.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Temozolomide (TMZ) is active against glioblastomas (GBM) in which the O6-methylguanine-DNA methyltransferase (MGMT) gene is silenced. However, even in responsive cases, its beneficial effect is undermined by the emergence of drug resistance. Here, we tested whether inhibition of poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase-1 and -2 (PARP) enhanced the effectiveness of TMZ. METHODS:Using patient derived brain tumor initiating cells (BTICs) and orthotopic xenografts as models of newly diagnosed and recurrent high-grade glioma, we assessed the effects of TMZ, ABT-888, and the combination of TMZ and ABT-888 on the viability of BTICs and survival of tumor-bearing mice. We also studied DNA damage repair, checkpoint protein phosphorylation, and DNA replication in mismatch repair (MMR) deficient cells treated with TMZ and TMZ plus ABT-888. RESULTS:Cells and xenografts derived from newly diagnosed MGMT methylated high-grade gliomas were sensitive to TMZ while those derived from unmethylated and recurrent gliomas were typically resistant. ABT-888 had no effect on the viability of BTICs or tumor bearing mice, but co-treatment with TMZ restored sensitivity in resistant cells and xenografts from newly diagnosed unmethylated gliomas and recurrent gliomas with MSH6 mutations. In contrast, the addition of ABT-888 to TMZ had little sensitizing effect on cells and xenografts derived from newly diagnosed methylated gliomas. In a model of acquired TMZ resistance mediated by loss of MMR gene MSH6, re-sensitization to TMZ by ABT-888 was accompanied by persistent DNA strand breaks, re-engagement of checkpoint kinase signaling, and interruption of DNA synthesis. CONCLUSION:In laboratory models, the addition of ABT-888 to TMZ overcame resistance to TMZ.
Project description:Glioblastoma (GBM) is an aggressive brain tumor which is currently treated with temozolomide (TMZ). Tumors usually become resistant to TMZ and recur; no effective therapy is then available. Monoamine Oxidase A (MAO A) oxidizes monoamine neurotransmitters resulting in reactive oxygen species which cause cancer. This study shows that MAO A expression is increased in human glioma tissues and cell lines. MAO A inhibitors, clorgyline or the near-infrared-dye MHI-148 conjugated to clorgyline (NMI), were cytotoxic for glioma and decreased invasion in vitro. Using the intracranial TMZ-resistant glioma model, clorgyline or NMI alone or in combination with low-dose TMZ reduced tumor growth and increased animal survival. NMI was localized specifically to the tumor. Immunocytochemistry studies showed that the MAO A inhibitor reduced proliferation, microvessel density and invasion, and increased macrophage infiltration. In conclusion, we have identified MAO A inhibitors as potential novel stand-alone drugs or as combination therapy with low dose TMZ for drug-resistant gliomas. NMI can also be used as a non-invasive imaging tool. Thus has a dual function for both therapy and diagnosis.
Project description:Hypermutagenesis refers to marked increase in the number of mutations due to continuous mutagenic process. Hypermutated tumors, have being found in several tumor types, are associated with inherited or acquired alterations in the DNA repair pathways. Hypermutation has been observed in a subset of adult glioma patients as a direct result of temozolomide(TMZ)-induced mutagenesis. In our study, we have identified a rare subset of treatment-naïve adult gliomas with de novo hypermutator phenotype and explored the evolution of spontaneous and treatment-induced hypermutagenesis. We conducted Whole-Exome Sequencing (WES), Whole-Transcriptome Sequencing (WTS), and Single-Cell Sequencing (SCS) of TMZ-naïve and post-TMZ-treated hypermutated tumors to identify distinct clinical or genomic manifestations that contribute to the development of hypermutation in untreated adult gliomas. TMZ-naïve hypermutated tumors were marked by absence of IDH1 somatic mutation and MGMT promoter (pMGMT) methylation, two genomic traits that were significantly associated with the TMZ-induced hypermutagenic event in glioblastoma, and harbored inherited alterations in the mismatch repair (MMR) machinery. The immediate family members of the TMZ-naive hypermutated glioma patients were also previous diagnosed with cancer development history, suggesting that germline dysfunction of the MMR pathway could potentially pose hereditary risk to genetic predisposition of carcinogenesis in gliomas. Lastly, both TMZ-naïve and post-TMZ-treated hypermutated tumors exhibited a significant accumulation of neoantigen loads, suggesting immunotherapeutic alternatives. Our results present new and unique understanding of hypermutagenic process in adult gliomas and an important step towards clinical implication of immunotherapy in glioma treatment.