Temozolomide Induced Hypermutation in Glioma: Evolutionary Mechanisms and Therapeutic Opportunities.
ABSTRACT: 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:Malignant gliomas are treated with a combination of surgery, radiation, and temozolomide (TMZ), but these therapies ultimately fail due to tumor recurrence. In glioma cultures, TMZ treatment significantly decreases neurosphere formation; however, a small percentage of cells survive and repopulate the culture. A promising target for glioma therapy is the Notch signaling pathway. Notch activity is upregulated in many gliomas and can be suppressed using gamma-secretase inhibitors (GSI). Using a neurosphere recovery assay and xenograft experiments, we analyzed if the addition of GSIs with TMZ treatment could inhibit repopulation and tumor recurrence. We show that TMZ + GSI treatment decreased neurosphere formation and inhibited neurosphere recovery. This enhancement of TMZ treatment occurred through inhibition of the Notch pathway and depended on the sequence of drug administration. In addition, ex vivo TMZ + GSI treatment of glioma xenografts in immunocompromised mice extended tumor latency and survival, and in vivo TMZ + GSI treatment blocked tumor progression in 50% of mice with preexisting tumors. These data show the importance of the Notch pathway in chemoprotection and repopulation of TMZ-treated gliomas. The addition of GSIs to current treatments is a promising approach to decrease brain tumor recurrence.
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.
Project description:In this review, we discuss the use of the alkylating agent temozolomide (TMZ) in the treatment of IDH-mutant gliomas. We describe the challenges associated with TMZ in clinical (drug resistance and tumor recurrence) and preclinical settings (variabilities associated with in vitro models) in treating IDH-mutant glioma. Lastly, we summarize the emerging therapeutic targets that can potentially be used in combination with TMZ.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Emerging data suggest that a subset of patients with diffuse isocitrate dehydrogenase (IDH)-mutant low-grade glioma (LGG) who receive adjuvant temozolomide (TMZ) recur with hypermutation in association with malignant progression to higher-grade tumors. It is currently unclear why some TMZ-treated LGG patients recur with hypermutation while others do not. MGMT encodes O6-methylguanine-DNA methyltransferase, a DNA repair protein that removes cytotoxic and potentially mutagenic lesions induced by TMZ. Here, we hypothesize that epigenetic silencing of MGMT by promoter methylation facilitates TMZ-induced mutagenesis in LGG patients and contributes to development of hypermutation at recurrence.<h4>Methods</h4>We utilize a quantitative deep sequencing assay to characterize MGMT promoter methylation in 109 surgical tissue specimens from initial tumors and post-treatment recurrences of 37 TMZ-treated LGG patients. We utilize methylation arrays to validate our sequencing assay, RNA sequencing to assess the relationship between methylation and gene expression, and exome sequencing to determine hypermutation status.<h4>Results</h4>Methylation level at the MGMT promoter is significantly higher in initial tumors of patients that develop hypermutation at recurrence relative to initial tumors of patients that do not (45.7% vs 34.8%, P = 0.027). Methylation level in initial tumors can predict hypermutation at recurrence in univariate models and multivariate models that incorporate patient age and molecular subtype.<h4>Conclusions</h4>These findings reveal a mechanistic basis for observed differences in patient susceptibility to TMZ-driven hypermutation. Furthermore, they establish MGMT promoter methylation level as a potential biomarker to inform clinical management of LGG patients, including monitoring and treatment decisions, by predicting risk of hypermutation at recurrence.
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/β-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:A high tumour mutational burden (hypermutation) is observed in some gliomas<sup>1-5</sup>; however, the mechanisms by which hypermutation develops and whether it predicts the response to immunotherapy are poorly understood. Here we comprehensively analyse the molecular determinants of mutational burden and signatures in 10,294 gliomas. We delineate two main pathways to hypermutation: a de novo pathway associated with constitutional defects in DNA polymerase and mismatch repair (MMR) genes, and a more common post-treatment pathway, associated with acquired resistance driven by MMR defects in chemotherapy-sensitive gliomas that recur after treatment with the chemotherapy drug temozolomide. Experimentally, the mutational signature of post-treatment hypermutated gliomas was recapitulated by temozolomide-induced damage in cells with MMR deficiency. MMR-deficient gliomas were characterized by a lack of prominent T cell infiltrates, extensive intratumoral heterogeneity, poor patient survival and a low rate of response to PD-1 blockade. Moreover, although bulk analyses did not detect microsatellite instability in MMR-deficient gliomas, single-cell whole-genome sequencing analysis of post-treatment hypermutated glioma cells identified microsatellite mutations. These results show that chemotherapy can drive the acquisition of hypermutated populations without promoting a response to PD-1 blockade and supports the diagnostic use of mutational burden and signatures in cancer.
Project description:Temozolomide (TMZ) is an oral alkylating agent used for the treatment of glioblastoma and is now becoming a chemotherapeutic option in patients diagnosed with high-risk low-grade gliomas. The O-6-methylguanine-DNA methyltransferase (MGMT) is responsible for the direct repair of the main TMZ-induced toxic DNA adduct, the O6-Methylguanine lesion. MGMT promoter hypermethylation is currently the only known biomarker for TMZ response in glioblastoma patients. Here we show that a subset of recurrent gliomas carries MGMT genomic rearrangements that lead to MGMT overexpression, independently from changes in its promoter methylation. By leveraging the CRISPR/Cas9 technology we generated some of these MGMT rearrangements in glioma cells and demonstrated that the MGMT genomic rearrangements contribute to TMZ resistance both in vitro and in vivo. Lastly, we showed that such fusions can be detected in tumor-derived exosomes and could potentially represent an early detection marker of tumor recurrence in a subset of patients treated with TMZ.
Project description:Temozolomide (TMZ) resistance is an important cause of clinical treatment failure and poor prognosis in gliomas. Increasing evidence indicates that cancer-derived exosomes contribute to chemoresistance; however, the specific contribution of glioma-derived exosomes remains unclear. The aim of this study was to explore the role and underlying mechanisms of exosomal macrophage migration inhibitory factor (MIF) on TMZ resistance in gliomas. We first demonstrated that MIF was upregulated in the exosomes of TMZ-resistant cells, engendering the transfer of TMZ resistance to sensitive cells. Our results indicated that exosomal MIF conferred TMZ resistance to sensitive cells through the enhancement of cell proliferation and the repression of cell apoptosis upon TMZ exposure. MIF knockdown enhanced TMZ sensitivity in resistant glioma cells by upregulating Metalloproteinase Inhibitor 3 (TIMP3) and subsequently suppressing the PI3K/AKT signaling pathway. Additionally, exosomal MIF promoted tumor growth and TMZ resistance of glioma cells <i>in vivo</i>, while IOS-1 (MIF inhibitor) promotes glioma TMZ sensitive <i>in vivo</i>. Taken together, our study demonstrated that exosome-mediated transfer of MIF enhanced TMZ resistance in glioma through downregulating TIMP3 and further activating the PI3K/AKT signaling pathway, highlighting a prognostic biomarker and promising therapeutic target for TMZ treatment in gliomas.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>The postoperative recurrence of malignant gliomas has presented a clinical conundrum currently. Worse, there is no standard treatment for these recurrent tumours. Therefore, novel promising methods of clinical treatment are urgently needed.<h4>Methods</h4>In this study, we synthesized reactive oxygen species (ROS)-triggered poly(propylene sulfide)60 (PPS60) mixed with matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs)-responsive triglycerol monostearate (T) lipids and TMZ. The mixed solution could self-assemble at 50 ℃ to generate hydrogels with MMPs- and ROS-responsiveness. We explored whether the T/PPS + TMZ hydrogel could achieve the MMP- and ROS-responsive delivery of TMZ and exert anti-glioma regrowth effects in vitro and in vivo. These results demonstrated that the T/PPS + TMZ hydrogel significantly improved the curative effect of TMZ to inhibit postsurgical recurrent glioma.<h4>Results</h4>The results confirmed the responsive release of TMZ encapsulated in the T/PPS + TMZ hydrogel, and the hydrogel showed excellent performance against glioma in an incomplete glioma operation model, which indicated that the T/PPS + TMZ hydrogel effectively inhibited the growth of recurrent glioma.<h4>Conclusion</h4>In summary, we successfully developed injectable MMPs- and ROS-responsive hydrogels that could achieve the sustained release of TMZ in the surgical cavity to inhibit local recurrent glioma after surgery.
Project description:Targeted delivery of drugs to the brain is challenging due to the restricted permeability across the blood brain barrier (BBB). Gliomas are devastating cancers and their positive treatment outcome using Temozolomide (TMZ) is limited due to its short plasma half-life, systemic toxicity and limited access through the blood-brain barrier (BBB). Nanoparticles made of Lactoferrin (Lf) protein, have been shown to enhance the pharmacological properties of drugs. Here, we report the specific ability of Lf nanoparticles to cross BBB and target over-expressed Lf receptors on glioma for enhanced TMZ delivery. TMZ-loaded Lf nanoparticles (TMZ-LfNPs) were prepared by our previously reported sol-oil method. While the Lf protein in the NP matrix aids in transcytosis across the BBB and preferential tumor cell uptake, the pH responsiveness leads to TMZ release exclusively in the tumor microenvironment. Delivery through LfNPs results in an enhanced and sustained intracellular concentration of TMZ in GL261 cells in vitro along with improving its in vivo pharmacokinetics and brain accumulation. TMZ-LfNPs treatment results in a significant reduction of tumor volume, higher tumor cell apoptosis and improved median survival in glioma bearing mice. These results demonstrate that LfNPs present an efficient TMZ delivery platform for an effective treatment of gliomas.