Standard treatment for glioblastoma (GBM) is surgery followed by radiation (RT) and temozolomide (TMZ). While there is variability in survival based on several established prognostic factors, the prognostic utility of other factors such as tumor size and location are not well established.
The charts of ninety two patients with GBM treated with RT at the National Cancer Institute (NCI) between 1998 and 2012 were retrospectively reviewed. Most patients received RT with concurrent and adjuvant TMZ. Topographic locations were classified using preoperative imaging. Gross tumor volumes were contoured using treatment planning systems utilizing both pre-operative and post-operative MR imaging.
At a median follow-up of 18.7 months, the median overall survival (OS) and progression-free survival (PFS) for all patients was 17.9 and 7.6 months. Patients with the smallest tumors had a median OS of 52.3 months compared to 16.3 months among patients with the largest tumors, P = 0.006. The patients who received bevacizumab after recurrence had a median OS of 23.3 months, compared to 16.3 months in patients who did not receive it, P = 0.0284. The median PFS and OS in patients with periventricular tumors was 5.7 and 17.5 months, versus 8.9 and 23.3 months in patients with non-periventricular tumors, P = 0.005.
Survival in our cohort was comparable to the outcome of the defining EORTC-NCIC trial establishing the use of RT+TMZ. This study also identifies several potential prognostic factors that may be useful in stratifying patients.
Despite recent advances in the management of high-grade and recurrent gliomas, survival remains poor. Antiangiogenic therapy has been shown to be efficacious in the treatment of high-grade gliomas both in preclinical models and in clinical trials. We sought to determine the safety and maximum tolerated dose of sorafenib when combined with both radiation and temozolomide in the primary setting or radiation alone in the recurrent setting.
Methods and Materials
This was a preclinical study and an open-label phase I dose escalation trial. Multiple glioma cell lines were analyzed for viability after treatment with radiation, temozolomide, or sorafenib or combinations of them. For patients with primary disease, sorafenib was given concurrently with temozolomide (75 mg/m2) and 60 Gy radiation, for 30 days after completion of radiation. For patients with recurrent disease, sorafenib was combined with a hypofractionated course of radiation (35 Gy in 10 fractions).
Cell viability was significantly reduced with the combination of radiation, temozolomide, and sorafenib or radiation and sorafenib. Eighteen patients (11 in the primary cohort, 7 in the recurrent cohort) were enrolled onto this trial approved by the institutional review board. All patients completed the planned course of radiation therapy. The most common toxicities were hematologic, fatigue, and rash. There were 18 grade 3 or higher toxicities and no grade 5 events. The median overall survival was 18 months for the entire population.
Sorafenib can be safely combined with radiation and temozolomide in patients with high-grade glioma and with radiation alone in patients with recurrent glioma. The recommended phase II dose of sorafenib is 200 mg twice daily when combined with temozolomide and radiation and 400 mg with radiation alone. To our knowledge, this is the first publication of concurrent sorafenib with radiation monotherapy or combined with radiation and temozolomide.
Interferon-alpha is a cytokine with demonstrated activity in patients with supratentorial gliomas, but the ideal dose and schedule of administration is unknown. Studies suggest low-dose continuous exposure is more efficacious than intermittent high doses. We performed a Phase II study of PEG-Intron® in children with DIPG, a population with dismal survival despite decades of clinical investigation. The primary objective was to compare 2-year survival to a historical cohort treated with radiation therapy alone.
Patients received weekly subcutaneous PEG-Intron® at a dose of 0.3 μg/kg beginning 2–10 weeks after completing radiation therapy until disease progression. Patients were evaluated clinically and radiographically at regular intervals. Serum and urine were assayed for biomarkers prior to each cycle. Quality of life (QOL) evaluations were administered at baseline and prior to every other cycle of therapy to parents of patients ages 6–18 years.
Thirty-two patients (median age 5.3 years, range 1.8–14.8) enrolled and received a median of 7 cycles of therapy (range 1–70+). PEG-Intron® was well tolerated and no decrease in QOL scores was noted in the subset of patients tested. The two-year survival rate was 14%, which was not significantly improved compared to our historical cohort. However, median time to progression (TTP) was 7.8 months, which favorably compares to recent trials reporting TTP of 5 months in a similar population.
Although low dose PEG-Intron® therapy did not significantly improve 2-year survival in children with DIPG compared to a historical control population, it may delay time to progression.
brainstem; glioma; interferon; pontine; children
Recently a number of robotic intervention systems for magnetic resonance image (MRI) guided needle placement in the prostate have been reported. In MRI-guided needle interventions, after a needle is inserted, the needle position is often confirmed with a volumetric MRI scan. Commonly used titanium needles are not directly visible in an MR image, but they generate a susceptibility artifact in the immediate neighborhood of the needle. This paper reports the results of a quantitative study of the relationship between the true position of titanium biopsy needle and the corresponding needle artifact position in MR images, thereby providing a better understanding of the influence of needle artifact on targeting errors. The titanium needle tip artifact extended 9 mm beyond the actual needle tip location with tendency to bend towards the scanner’s B0 magnetic field direction, and axially displaced 0.38 mm and 0.32 mm (mean) in scanner’s frequency and phase encoding direction, respectively.
Needle artifact; prostate intervention; robotic intervention; transrectal biopsy
The mechanistic target of rapamycin (mTOR) is a critical kinase in the regulation of gene translation and has been suggested as a potential target for radiosensitization. The goal of this study was to compare the radiosensitizing activities of the allosteric mTOR inhibitor rapamycin with that of the competitive mTOR inhibitor PP242. On the basis of immunoblot analyses, whereas rapamycin only partially inhibited mTOR complex 1 (mTORC1) activity and had no effect on mTOR complex 2 (mTORC2), PP242 inhibited the activity of both mTOR-containing complexes. Irradiation alone had no effect on mTORC1 or mTORC2 activity. Clonogenic survival was used to define the effects of the mTOR inhibitors on in vitro radiosensitivity. In the two tumor cell lines evaluated, PP242 treatment 1 hour before irradiation increased radiosensitivity, whereas rapamycin had no effect. Addition of PP242 after irradiation also enhanced the radiosensitivity of both tumor lines. To investigate the mechanism of radiosensitization, the induction and repair of DNA double-strand breaks were evaluated according γH2AX foci. PP242 exposure did not influence the initial level of γH2AX foci after irradiation but did significantly delay the dispersal of radiation-induced γH2AX foci. In contrast to the tumor cell lines, the radiosensitivity of a normal human fibroblast cell line was not influenced by PP242. Finally, PP242 administration to mice bearing U251 xenografts enhanced radiation-induced tumor growth delay. These results indicate that in a preclinical tumor model PP242 enhances tumor cell radiosensitivity both in vitro and in vivo and suggest that this effect involves an inhibition of DNA repair.
Dietary modification such as caloric restriction (CR) has been shown to decrease tumor initiation and progression. We sought to determine if nutrient restriction could be used as a novel therapeutic intervention to enhance cytotoxic therapies such as radiation (IR) and alter the molecular profile of triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC), which displays a poor prognosis. In two murine models of TNBC, significant tumor regression is noted with IR or diet modification, and a greater regression is observed combining diet modification with IR. Two methods of diet modification were compared, and it was found that a daily 30% reduction in total calories provided more significant tumor regression than alternate day feeding. At the molecular level, tumors treated with CR and IR showed less proliferation and more apoptosis. cDNA array analysis demonstrated the IGF-1R pathway plays a key role in achieving this physiologic response, and multiple members of the IGF-1R pathway including IGF-1R, IRS, PIK3ca and mTOR were found to be downregulated. The innovative use of CR as a novel therapeutic option has the potential to change the biology of tumors and enhance the opportunity for clinical benefit in the treatment of patients with TNBC.
caloric restriction; breast cancer; radiation; IGF; tumor regression; cytotoxic therapy
Pheochromocytomas (PHEOs) and paragangliomas (PGLs) related to mutations in the mitochondrial succinate dehydrogenase (SDH) subunits A, B, C, and D, SDH complex assembly factor 2, and the von Hippel-Lindau (VHL) genes share a pseudohypoxic expression profile. However, genotype-specific differences in expression have been emerging. Development of effective new therapies for distinctive manifestations, e.g., a high rate of malignancy in SDHB- or predisposition to multifocal PGLs in SDHD patients, mandates improved stratification. To identify mutation/location-related characteristics among pseudohypoxic PHEOs/PGLs, we used comprehensive microarray profiling (SDHB: n = 18, SDHD-abdominal/thoracic (AT): n = 6, SDHD-head/neck (HN): n = 8, VHL: n = 13). To avoid location-specific bias, typical adrenal medulla genes were derived from matched normal medullas and cortices (n = 8) for data normalization. Unsupervised analysis identified two dominant clusters, separating SDHB and SDHD-AT PHEOs/PGLs (cluster A) from VHL PHEOs and SDHD-HN PGLs (cluster B). Supervised analysis yielded 6937 highly predictive genes (misclassification error rate of 0.175). Enrichment analysis revealed that energy metabolism and inflammation/fibrosis-related genes were most pronouncedly changed in clusters A and B, respectively. A minimum subset of 40 classifiers was validated by quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction vs. microarray: r = 0.87). Expression of several individual classifiers was identified as characteristic for VHL and SDHD-HN PHEOs and PGLs. In the present study, we show for the first time that SDHD-HN PGLs share more features with VHL PHEOs than with SDHD-AT PGLs. The presented data suggest novel subclassification of pseudohypoxic PHEOs/PGLs and implies cluster-specific pathogenic mechanisms and treatment strategies.
The study aims to assess the feasibility of tomotherapy-based image-guided (IGRT) radiotherapy for locally advanced oropharyngeal cancer. A retrospective review of 33 patients undergoing concurrent chemoradiation for locally advanced oropharyngeal cancers was conducted. Radiotherapy planning, treatment toxicity and loco-regional control were assessed.
At a median follow-up of 32 months (6–47 months), no patient developed loco-regional recurrence. Two patients (6%) developed distant metastases. Grade 3–4 acute toxicity was respectively 72% and 25% for mucositis and gastrointestinal toxicity. Two patients (6%) had long-term dependence on tube feedings. Dose-volume histogram demonstrated excellent target volume coverage and low radiation dose to the organs at risk for complications.
Conclusions and clinical relevance
IGRT provides excellent loco-regional control but acute toxicity remains significant and needs to be addressed in future prospective trials. The feasibility of Tomotherapy to decrease radiation dose to the normal tissues merits further investigations.
Ablative bone marrow irradiation is an integral part of hematopoietic stem cell transplantation. These treatment regimens are based on classically held models of radiation dose and the bone marrow response. Flt-3 ligand (FL) has been suggested as a marker of hematopoiesis and bone marrow status but the kinetics of its response to bone marrow irradiation has yet to be fully characterized. In the current study, we examine plasma FL response to total body and partial body irradiation in mice and its relationship with irradiation dose, time of collection and pattern of bone marrow exposure.
C57BL6 mice received a single whole body or partial body irradiation dose of 1–8 Gy. Plasma was collected by mandibular or cardiac puncture at 24, 48 and 72 hr post-irradiation as well as 1–3 weeks post-irradiation. FL levels were determined via ELISA assay and used to generate two models: a linear regression model and a gated values model correlating plasma FL levels with radiation dose.
At all doses between 1–8 Gy, plasma FL levels were greater than control and the level of FL increased proportionally to the total body irradiation dose. Differences in FL levels were statistically significant at each dose and at all time points. Partial body irradiation of the trunk areas, encompassing the bulk of the hematopoietically active bone marrow, resulted in significantly increased FL levels over control but irradiation of only the head or extremities did not. FL levels were used to generate a dose prediction model for total body irradiation. In a blinded study, the model differentiated mice into dose received cohorts of 1, 4 or 8 Gy based on plasma FL levels at 24 or 72 hrs post-irradiation.
Our findings indicate that plasma FL levels might be used as a marker of hematopoietically active bone marrow and radiation exposure in mice.
Cell line models have been widely used to investigate glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) pathobiology and in the development of targeted therapies. However, GBM tumors are molecularly heterogeneous and how cell lines can best model that diversity is unknown. In this report, we investigated gene expression profiles of three preclinical growth models of glioma cell lines, in vitro and in vivo as subcutaneous and intracerebral xenografts to examine which cell line model most resembles the clinical samples. Whole genome DNA microarrays were used to profile gene expression in a collection of 25 high grade glioblastomas, and comparisons were made to profiles of cell lines under three different growth models. Hierarchical clustering revealed three molecular subtypes of the glioblastoma patient samples. Supervised learning algorithm, trained on glioma subtypes predicted the intracranial cell line model with one glioma subtype (r = 0.68; 95% bootstrap CI −0.41, 0.46). Survival analysis of enriched gene sets (p < 0.05) revealed 19 biological categories (146 genes) belonging to neuronal, signal transduction, apoptosis, and glutamate mediated neurotransmitter activation signals that are associated with poor prognosis in this glioma subclass. We validated the expression profiles of these gene categories in an independent cohort of patients from “The Cancer Genome Atlas” project (r = 0.62, 95% bootstrap CI: −0.42, 0.43). We then used this data to select and inhibit a novel target (glutamate receptor) and showed that LY341595 a glutamate receptor specific antagonist could prolong survival in intracerebral tumor-implanted mice in combination with irradiation, providing an in vivo cell line system of preclinical studies.
Supervised model; glioblastoma; orthotopic model; cell lines; xenograft
To identify, within the framework of a current Phase I trial, whether factors related to intraprostatic cancer lesions (IPLs) or individual patients predict the feasibility of high-dose intraprostatic irradiation.
Methods and Materials
Endorectal coil MRI scans of the prostate from 42 men were evaluated for dominant IPLs. The IPLs, prostate, and critical normal tissues were contoured. Intensity-modulated radiotherapy plans were generated with the goal of delivering 75.6 Gy in 1.8-Gy fractions to the prostate, with IPLs receiving a simultaneous integrated boost of 3.6 Gy per fraction to a total dose of 151.2 Gy, 200% of the prescribed dose and the highest dose cohort in our trial. Rectal and bladder dose constraints were consistent with those outlined in current Radiation Therapy Oncology Group protocols.
Dominant IPLs were identified in 24 patients (57.1%). Simultaneous integrated boosts (SIB) to 200% of the prescribed dose were achieved in 12 of the 24 patients without violating dose constraints. Both the distance between the IPL and rectum and the hip-to-hip patient width on planning CT scans were associated with the feasibility to plan an SIB (p = 0.002 and p = 0.0137, respectively).
On the basis of this small cohort, the distance between an intraprostatic lesion and the rectum most strongly predicted the ability to plan high-dose radiation to a dominant intraprostatic lesion. High-dose SIB planning seems possible for select intraprostatic lesions.
IMRT; Prostate cancer; Dose escalation; Radiotherapy; Treatment planning
Exposure to ionizing radiation through environmental, occupational or a nuclear reactor accident such as the recent Fukushima Daiichi incident often results in major consequences to human health. The injury caused by radiation can manifest as acute radiation syndromes within weeks in organs with proliferating cells such as hematopoietic and gastrointestinal systems. Cancers, fibrosis and degenerative diseases are also reported in organs with differentiated cells, months or years later. Studies conducted on atom bomb survivors, nuclear reactor workers and animal models have shown a direct correlation of these effects with the absorbed dose. Physical dosimeters and the available radio-responsive biologics in body fluids, whose responses are rather indirect, have limitations to accurately evaluate the extent of post exposure damage. We have used an amplification-free, hybridization based quantitative assay utilizing the nCounter multiplex platform developed by nanoString Technologies to compare the levels of over 600 miRNAs in serum from mice irradiated at a range of 1 to 12 Gy at 24 and 48 hr time points. Development of a novel normalization strategy using multiple spike-in oligonucleotides allowed accurate measurement of radiation dose and time dependent changes in serum miRNAs. The response of several evolutionarily conserved miRNAs abundant in serum, were found to be robust and sensitive in the dose range relevant for medical triage and in patients who receive total body radiation as preparative regimen for bone marrow transplantation. Notably, miRNA-150, abundant in lymphocytes, exhibited a dose and time dependent decrease in serum, which we propose as a sensitive marker indicative of lymphocyte depletion and bone marrow damage. Our study has identified several markers useful for evaluation of an individual’s response by minimally invasive methods, relevant to triage in case of a radiation accident and evaluation of toxicity and response during and after therapeutic radiation.
The aim of this study is to evaluate the associations between vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) Single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and clinical outcome in advanced gastric cancer patients treated with oxaliplatin, 5-fluorouracil, and leucovorin (FOLFOX).
Genomic DNA was isolated from whole blood, and six VEGF (−2578C/A, -2489C/T, -1498 T/C, -634 G/C, +936C/T, and +1612 G/A) gene polymorphisms were analyzed by PCR. Levels of serum VEGF were measured using enzyme-linked immunoassays.
Patients with G/G genotype for VEGF -634 G/C gene polymorphism showed a lower response rate (22.2%) than those with G/C or C/C genotype (32.3%, 51.1%; P = 0.034). Patients with the VEGF -634 G/C polymorphism G/C + C/C genotype had a longer progression free survival (PFS) of 4.9 months, compared with the PFS of 3.5 months for those with the G/G (P = 0.043, log-rank test). By multivariate analysis, this G/G genotype of VEGF -634 G/C polymorphism was identified as an independent prognostic factor (Hazard ratio 1.497, P = 0.017).
Our data suggest that G/G genotype of VEGF -634 G/C polymorphism is related to the higher serum levels of VEGF, and poor clinical outcome in advanced gastric cancer patients.
VEGF; Polymorphism; Gastric cancer
Glioblastomas (GBMs) are characterized as highly invasive; the contribution of GBM stem-like cells (GSCs) to the invasive phenotype, however, has not been completely defined. Towards this end, we have defined the invasion potential of CD133+ GSCs and their differentiated CD133− counterparts grown under standard in vitro conditions and in co-culture with astrocytes. Using a trans-well assay, astrocytes or astrocyte conditioned media in the bottom chamber significantly increased the invasion of GSCs yet had no effect on CD133− cells. In addition, a monolayer invasion assay showed that the GSCs invaded farther into an astrocyte monolayer than their differentiated progeny. Gene expression profiles were generated from two GSC lines grown in trans-well culture with astrocytes in the bottom chamber or directly in contact with astrocyte monolayers. In each co-culture model, genes whose expression was commonly increased in both GSC lines involved cell movement and included a number of genes that have been previously associated with tumor cell invasion. Similar gene expression modifications were not detected in CD133− cells co-cultured under the same conditions with astrocytes. Finally, evaluation of the secretome of astrocytes grown in monolayer identified a number of chemokines and cytokines associated with tumor cell invasion. These data suggest that astrocytes enhance the invasion of CD133+ GSCs and provide additional support for a critical role of brain microenvironment in the regulation of GBM biology.
Brain metastases are a significant cause of cancer patient morbidity and mortality, yet preventative and therapeutic options remain an unmet need. The cytokine PEDF is downregulated in resected human brain metastases of breast cancer compared to primary breast tumors, suggesting that restoring its expression might limit metastatic spread. Here we show that outgrowth of large experimental brain metastases from human 231-BR or murine 4T1-BR breast cancer cells was suppressed by PEDF expression, as supported by in vitro analyses as well as direct intracranial implantation. Notably, the suppressive effects of PEDF were not only rapid but independent of the effects of this factor on angiogenesis. Paralleling its cytotoxic effects on breast cancer cells, PEDF also exerted a pro-survival effect on neurons that shielded the brain from tumor-induced damage, as indicated by a relative 3.5-fold reduction in the number of dying neurons adjacent to tumors expressing PEDF. Our findings establish that PEDF as both a metastatic suppressor and a neuroprotectant in the the brain, highlighting its role as a double agent in limiting brain metastasis and its local consequences.
PEDF; breast cancer; brain metastasis; neurons; neuronal injury
As the incidence of cancer continues to rise, the use of radiotherapy has emerged as a leading treatment modality. Preclinical models in radiation oncology are essential tools for cancer research and therapeutics. Various model systems have been used to test radiation therapy, including in vitro cell culture assays as well as in vivo ectopic and orthotopic xenograft models. This review aims to describe such models, their advantages and disadvantages, particularly as they have been employed in the discovery of molecular targets for tumor radiosensitization. Ultimately, any model system must be judged by its utility in developing more effective cancer therapies, which is in turn dependent on its ability to simulate the biology of tumors as they exist in situ. Although every model has its limitations, each has played a significant role in preclinical testing. Continued advances in preclinical models will allow for the identification and application of targets for radiation in the clinic.
Preclinical models; Radiation oncology; Radiosensitizer; Orthotopic xenograft model
The increasing availability and maturity of DNA microarray technology has led to an explosion of cancer profiling studies for identifying cancer biomarkers, and predicting treatment response. Uncovering complex relationships, however, remains the most challenging task as it requires compiling and efficiently querying data from various sources. Here, we describe the Stress Response Array Profiler (StRAP), an open-source, web-based resource for storage, profiling, visualization, and sharing of cancer genomic data. StRAP houses multi-cancer microarray data with major emphasis on radiotherapy studies, and takes a systems biology approach towards the integration, comparison, and cross-validation of multiple cancer profiling studies. The database is a comprehensive platform for comparative analysis of gene expression data. For effective use of arrays, we provide user-friendly and interactive visualization tools that can display the data and query results. StRAP is web-based, platform-independent, and freely accessible at http://strap.nci.nih.gov/.
This phase I trial evaluated sunitinib combined with radiation therapy (RT) for primary or metastatic central nervous system (CNS) malignancies.
Eligible patients had CNS malignancies requiring a (minimum) two week course of RT. Sunitinib (37.5 mg) was administered daily for the duration of radiotherapy treatment with optional treatment extension of a month. Urine was collected at 3 time points for correlative biomarker studies. The primary endpoint was acute toxicity defined by the Common Toxicity Criteria version 3.
Fifteen patients were enrolled (12 CNS metastasis; 3 primary tumors). RT doses ranged from 14–70 Gy (1.8–3.5 Gy per fraction). Acute toxicities included hematologic, nausea, hyperglycemia, fatigue, hypocalcemia, and diarrhea. Six patients (40%) developed grade ≤2 toxicities. Grade 3 toxicities occurred in 7 (47%) patients including hematologic, fatigue, deep vein thrombosis, dysphasia, hyperglycemia and hyponatremia. No grade 3–5 hypertensive events or intracerebral hemorrhages occurred. Two Grade 5 adverse events attributed to disease progression occurred. Median follow up was 12.4 months. Two (13%) patients had partial response, 9 (60%) patients had stable disease and 2 (13%) patients had progressive disease. Six-month progression-free survival of brain metastasis patients was 58%. Grade 3 hematologic toxicity correlated with higher VEGF changes between baseline and completion of RT.
Continuous 37.5 mg sunitinib combined with RT in CNS malignancies yields acceptable toxicities and adverse events. Changes in urine VEGF were associated with hematologic toxicity and should be analyzed in a larger cohort. The feasibility, safety, and early response results warrant a Phase II trial.
sunitinib; RT; central nervous system; anti-angiogenesis; brain metastases
Previous studies have demonstrated the ability of non-lethal doses of radiation to alter the phenotype of tumor cells to facilitate immune mediated killing. This pilot study evaluated the tolerability of a vector-based vaccine targeting CEA in combination with radiation therapy in patients with gastrointestinal malignancies metastatic to the liver.
Patients enrolled had progressive CEA+ tumors with metastatic liver lesions. Patients received a median of 3 previous chemotherapy regimens, with a median of 2 months since their last chemotherapy regimen. Only 58% had metastatic disease limited to the liver. Vaccination commenced day 1 with biweekly boosters and split course radiation (total 32 Gy) starting on day 21. Blood was collected at baseline and day 91 for immunologic analysis.
Twelve patients were enrolled in this trial. There were no grade ≥ 3 toxicities or grade ≥ 2 hepatic toxicities. Median time on-study was 3 months, with longest time on treatment being 5 months (n = 2). Immunologic analysis was limited to 2 patients; neither showed an increase above baseline in CEA-specific T cells post-therapy. CEA/TRICOM vaccination in combination with low-dose radiation therapy is safe. However, there is limited evidence of activity in this advanced patient population.
CEA/TRICOM; fowlpox; immunotherapy; poxviral vector; therapeutic vaccine; vaccinia
Glioblastoma Multiforme (GBM) is the most common and aggressive malignant brain tumor. Patients afflicted with this disease unfortunately have a very poor prognosis, and fewer than 5% of patients survive for five years from the time of diagnosis. Therefore, improved therapies to treat this disease are sorely needed. One such class of drugs that have generated great enthusiasm for the treatment of numerous malignancies, including GBM, is histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitors. Preclinical data have demonstrated the efficacy of various HDAC inhibitors as anticancer agents, with the greatest effects shown when HDAC inhibitors are used in combination with other therapies. As a result of encouraging preclinical data, numerous HDAC inhibitors are under investigation in clinical trials, either as monotherapies or in conjunction with other treatments such as chemotherapy, biologic therapy, or radiation therapy. In fact, two actively studied HDAC inhibitors, vorinostat and depsipeptide, were recently approved for the treatment of refractory cutaneous T-cell lymphoma. In this review, we first present a patient with GBM, and then discuss the pathogenesis, epidemiology, and current treatment options of GBM. Finally, we examine the translation of preclinical studies that have demonstrated HDAC inhibitors as potent radiosensitizers in in vitro and in vivo models, to a phase II clinical trial combining the HDAC inhibitor, valproic acid (VPA), along with temozolomide and radiation therapy for the treatment of GBM.
Glioblastoma Multiforme; GBM; histone deacetylase inhibitor; HDAC inhibitor; valproic acid; VPA; radiosensitization; radiosensitizer
Spinal cord metastatic lesions affect a high number of cancer patients usually resulting in spinal cord compression syndrome. A major obstacle in the research of spinal metastatic disease is the lack of a simple reproducible animal model that mimics the natural course of the disease. In this study, we present a highly reproducible rodent model that can be used for different types of cancers while mimicking the natural course of human metastatic spinal cord compression syndrome.
All sixteen Fisher 344 rats survived the dorsal approach intraosseous implantation of CRL-1666 adenocarcinoma cells and both rats survived the sham control surgery. By Day 13 functional analysis via the modified Basso-Beattie-Bresnahan (BBB) locomotor rating scale showed significant decrease in motor function; median functional score was 3 for the tumor group (p = 0.0011). Median time to paresis was 8.7 days post-operatively. MR imaging illustrated repeated and consistent tumor formation, furthermore, onset of neurological sequale was the result of tumor formation and cord compression as confirmed by histological examination.
Analysis of these findings demonstrates a repeatable and consistent tumor growth model for cancer spinal metastases in rats. This novel rat model requires a less intricate surgical procedure, and as a result minimizes procedure time while subsequently increasing consistency. Therefore, this model allows for the preclinical evaluation of therapeutics for spinal metastases that more closely replicates physiological findings.
Spinal metastasis; Spinal cord compression; Animal model; Rat
Glioblastoma (GBM) is the most common malignant primary brain tumors in adults and exhibit striking aggressiveness. Although GBM constitute a single histological entity, they exhibit considerable variability in biological behavior, resulting in significant differences in terms of prognosis and response to treatment. In an attempt to better understand the biology of GBM, many groups have performed high-scale profiling studies based on gene or protein expression. These studies have revealed the existence of several GBM subtypes. Although there remains to be a clear consensus, two to four major subtypes have been identified. Interestingly, these different subtypes are associated with both differential prognoses and responses to therapy. In the present study, we investigated an alternative immunohistochemistry (IHC)-based approach to achieve a molecular classification for GBM. For this purpose, a cohort of 100 surgical GBM samples was retrospectively evaluated by immunohistochemical analysis of EGFR, PDGFRA and p53. The quantitative analysis of these immunostainings allowed us to identify the following two GBM subtypes: the “Classical-like” (CL) subtype, characterized by EGFR-positive and p53- and PDGFRA-negative staining and the “Proneural-like” (PNL) subtype, characterized by p53- and/or PDGFRA-positive staining. This classification represents an independent prognostic factor in terms of overall survival compared to age, extent of resection and adjuvant treatment, with a significantly longer survival associated with the PNL subtype. Moreover, these two GBM subtypes exhibited different responses to chemotherapy. The addition of temozolomide to conventional radiotherapy significantly improved the survival of patients belonging to the CL subtype, but it did not affect the survival of patients belonging to the PNL subtype. We have thus shown that it is possible to differentiate between different clinically relevant subtypes of GBM by using IHC-based profiling, a method that is advantageous in its ease of daily implementation and in large-scale clinical application.
Patients with von Hippel–Lindau (VHL) syndrome with diffuse CNS hemangioblastomas have morbidity related to their disease and require a lifetime of surgical resections. Ninety-seven percent of tumors progress, and 5-year surgery rates are 20%–60%. Stereotactic radiosurgery and fractionated radiotherapy have had limited success. For the first time, we have used infratentorial craniospinal radiation therapy (ICSRT) for VHL patients with CNS hemangioblastomas. Consecutive VHL patients treated at the National Institutes of Health with radiographic evidence of hemangioblastomas were included if they received ICSRT. Patients underwent neurologic examinations and imaging at 3- to 12-month intervals. Seven patients with 84 hemangioblastomas met eligibility criteria. ICSRT was commonly administered to 43.2 Gy in 24 fractions. Mean pre-ICSRT tumor volume was 5.48 cm3. At a mean follow-up of 73.8 months, mean post-ICSRT tumor volume was 6.87 cm3, and 91 tumors were identified. Complete radiographic resolution was achieved in 17.9% of lesions. Although many patients were no longer optimal surgical candidates, only 4 surgeries were needed for symptomatic lesions after ICSRT, compared with 33 prior. Acute toxicity was mild and no patient developed grade ≥1 late spinal cord toxicity according to the criteria of the Radiation Therapy Oncology Group/European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer, despite the high dose that the entire spinal cord received. Clinical and radiographic stability or resolution was demonstrated in the majority of tumors. Tumor growth rate in this study was less than reported in natural history studies, and the rate of surgical intervention was reduced. ICSRT was well tolerated, can decrease hemangioblastoma growth rate, and is a potential therapeutic option for VHL patients that warrants further investigation.
central nervous system; craniospinal irradiation; hemangioblastoma; tumor volume; von Hippel-Lindau (VHL)
The hepatocyte growth factor/Met signaling pathway is upregulated in many cancers, with downstream mediators playing a role in DNA double strand break repair. Previous studies have shown increased radiosensitization of tumors through modulation of Met signaling by genetic methods. We investigated the effects of the anti-hepatocyte growth factor monoclonal antibody, AMG102, on the response to ionizing radiation in a model of glioblastoma multiforme in vitro and in vivo.
Radiosensitivity was evaluated in vitro in the U-87 MG human glioma cell line. Met activation was measured by western blot, and the effect on survival following radiation was evaluated by clonogenic assay. Mechanism of cell death was evaluated by apoptosis and mitotic catastrophe assays. DNA damage was quantitated by γH2AX foci and neutral comet assay. Growth kinetics of subcutaneous tumors was used to assess the effects of AMG102 on in vivo tumor radiosensitivity.
AMG102 inhibited Met activation after irradiation. An enhancement of radiation cell killing was shown with no toxicity using drug alone. Retention of γH2AX foci at 6 and 24 hours following the drug/radiation combination indicated an inhibition of DNA repair following radiation, and comet assay confirmed DNA damage persisting over the same duration. At 48 and 72 hours following radiation, a significant increase of cells undergoing mitotic catastrophe was seen in the drug/radiation treated cells. Growth of subcutaneous tumors was slowed in combination treated mice, with an effect that was greater than additive for each modality individually.
Modulation of Met signaling with AMG102 may prove a novel radiation sensitizing strategy. Our data indicate that DNA repair processes downstream of Met are impaired leading to increased cell death through mitotic catastrophe.
glioblastoma; AMG102; radiation; HGF; Met
Gastrointestinal cancers frequently exhibit mutational activation of the Ras/MAPK pathway, which is implicated in resistance to ionizing radiation (IR) and chemotherapy. Concurrent radiotherapy and 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) based chemotherapy is commonly used for treatment of gastrointestinal malignancies. We previously reported radiosensitization with selumetinib, an inhibitor of MEK1/2. The purpose of the current study was to evaluate if selumetinib could enhance radiosensitivity induced by 5-FU.
Clonogenic survival assays were performed with the HT29 (colorectal), HCT116 (colorectal) and MiaPaca-2 (pancreatic) cell lines using pre-IR treatment with selumetinib, 5-FU and 5-FU+selumetinib. Cell proliferation was determined using a tetrazolium conversion assay. Mitotic catastrophe and DNA repair were analyzed using immunocytochemistry. Flow cytometry was used to analyze cell cycle and apoptosis. Growth delay was used to determine effects of 5-FU+selumetinib on in vivo tumor radiosensitivity.
Pre-IR treatment with 5-FU+selumetinib significantly decreased clonogenic survival compared to either agent alone. Dose modifying factors at a surviving fraction of 0.1 for 5-FU+selumetinib was 1.78, 1.52, and 1.3 for HT29, HCT116, and MiaPaca-2, respectively. Cell proliferation was decreased by treatment with selumetinib+5-FU as compared to single agent treatment regardless of treatment sequencing. Enhancement of 5-FU cytotoxicity and 5-FU mediated radiosensitization with selumetinib treatment was accompanied by an increase in mitotic catastrophe and apoptosis, and reductions in Stat3 phosphorylation and survivin expression. In vivo, an additive growth delay was observed with 5-FU+selumetinib+5Gy versus 5-FU+5Gy and selumetinib alone.
These data suggest that selumetinib can be used with 5-FU to augment radiation response.
selumetinib; AZD6244; 5-fluorouracil; radiosensitization; MEK1/2