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The ventricular-subventricular zone (V-SVZ) of the mammalian brain is a site of adult neurogenesis. Within the V-SVZ reside type B neural stem cells (NSCs) and type A neuroblasts. The V-SVZ is also a primary site for very aggressive glioblastoma (GBM). Standard-of-care therapy for GBM consists of safe maximum resection, concurrent temozolomide (TMZ), and X-irradiation (XRT), followed by adjuvant TMZ therapy. The question of how this therapy impacts neurogenesis is not well understood and is of fundamental importance as normal tissue tolerance is a limiting factor. Here, we studied the effects of concurrent TMZ/XRT followed by adjuvant TMZ on type B stem cells and type A neuroblasts of the V-SVZ in C57BL/6 mice. We found that chemoradiation induced an apoptotic response in type A neuroblasts, as marked by cleavage of caspase 3, but not in NSCs, and that A cells within the V-SVZ were repopulated given sufficient recovery time. 53BP1 foci formation and resolution was used to assess the repair of DNA double-strand breaks. Remarkably, the repair was the same in type B and type A cells. While Bax expression was the same for type A or B cells, antiapoptotic Bcl2 and Mcl1 expression was significantly greater in NSCs. Thus, the resistance of type B NSCs to TMZ/XRT appears to be due, in part, to high basal expression of antiapoptotic proteins compared with type A cells. This preclinical research, demonstrating that murine NSCs residing in the V-SVZ are tolerant of standard chemoradiation therapy, supports a dose escalation strategy for treatment of GBM. Stem Cells 2019;37:1629-1639.
© 2019 The Authors. Stem Cells published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of AlphaMed Press 2019.
IMPORTANCE - Uveal melanoma is characterized by mutations in GNAQ and GNA11, resulting in mitogen-activated protein kinase pathway activation.
OBJECTIVE - To assess the efficacy of selumetinib, a selective, non-adenosine triphosphate competitive inhibitor of MEK1 and MEK2, in uveal melanoma.
DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS - Randomized, open-label, phase 2 clinical trial comparing selumetinib vs chemotherapy conducted from August 2010 through December 2013 among 120 patients with metastatic uveal melanoma at 15 academic oncology centers in the United States and Canada.
INTERVENTIONS - One hundred one patients were randomized in a 1:1 ratio to receive selumetinib, 75 mg orally twice daily on a continual basis (n = 50), or chemotherapy (temozolomide, 150 mg/m2 orally daily for 5 of every 28 days, or dacarbazine, 1000 mg/m2 intravenously every 21 days [investigator choice]; n = 51) until disease progression, death, intolerable adverse effects, or withdrawal of consent. After primary outcome analysis, 19 patients were registered and 18 treated with selumetinib without randomization to complete the planned 120-patient enrollment. Patients in the chemotherapy group could receive selumetinib at the time of radiographic progression.
MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES - Progression-free survival, the primary end point, was assessed as of April 22, 2013. Additional end points, including overall survival, response rate, and safety/toxicity, were assessed as of December 31, 2013.
RESULTS - Median progression-free survival among patients randomized to chemotherapy was 7 weeks (95% CI, 4.3-8.4 weeks; median treatment duration, 8 weeks; interquartile range [IQR], 4.3-16 weeks) and among those randomized to selumetinib was 15.9 weeks (95% CI, 8.4-21.1 weeks; median treatment duration, 16.1 weeks; IQR, 8.1-25.3 weeks) (hazard ratio, 0.46; 95% CI, 0.30-0.71; P < .001). Median overall survival time was 9.1 months (95% CI, 6.1-11.1 months) with chemotherapy and 11.8 months (95% CI, 9.8-15.7 months) with selumetinib (hazard ratio, 0.66; 95% CI, 0.41-1.06; P = .09). No objective responses were observed with chemotherapy. Forty-nine percent of patients treated with selumetinib achieved tumor regression, with 14% achieving an objective radiographic response to therapy. Treatment-related adverse events were observed in 97% of patients treated with selumetinib, with 37% requiring at least 1 dose reduction.
CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE - In this hypothesis-generating study of patients with advanced uveal melanoma, selumetinib compared with chemotherapy resulted in a modestly improved progression-free survival and response rate; however, no improvement in overall survival was observed. Improvement in clinical outcomes was accompanied by a high rate of adverse events.
TRIAL REGISTRATION - clinicaltrials.gov Identifier: NCT01143402.
PURPOSE - To compare the efficacy and tolerability of the mitogen-activated protein (MAP)/extracellular signal-regulated (ERK) kinase (MEK) 1/2 inhibitor selumetinib versus temozolomide in chemotherapy-naive patients with unresectable stage III/IV melanoma.
EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN - This phase II, open-label, multicenter, randomized, parallel-group study examined the effect of 100 mg oral selumetinib twice daily in 28-day cycles versus oral temozolomide (200 mg/m(2)/d for 5 days, then 23 days off-treatment). The primary endpoint was progression-free survival.
RESULTS - Two hundred patients were randomized. Progression-free survival did not differ significantly between selumetinib and temozolomide (median time to event 78 and 80 days, respectively; hazard ratio, 1.07; 80% confidence interval, 0.86-1.32). Objective response was observed in six (5.8%) patients receiving selumetinib and nine (9.4%) patients in the temozolomide group. Among patients with BRAF mutations, objective responses were similar between selumetinib and temozolomide groups (11.1% and 10.7%, respectively). However, five of the six selumetinib partial responders were BRAF mutated. Frequently reported adverse events with selumetinib were dermatitis acneiform (papular pustular rash; 59.6%), diarrhea (56.6%), nausea (50.5%), and peripheral edema (40.4%), whereas nausea (64.2%), constipation (47.4%), and vomiting (44.2%) were reported with temozolomide.
CONCLUSIONS - No significant difference in progression-free survival was observed between patients with unresectable stage III/IV melanoma unselected for BRAF/NRAS mutations, who received therapy with selumetinib or temozolomide. Five of six patients with partial response to selumetinib had BRAF mutant tumors.
PURPOSE - Preclinical studies show that bortezomib, a proteasome inhibitor, blocks NF-kappaB activation and, combined with temozolomide, enhances activity against human melanoma xenografts and modulates other critical tumor targets. We initiated a phase I trial of temozolomide plus bortezomib in advanced melanoma. Objectives included defining a maximum tolerated dose for the combination, characterizing biomarker changes reflecting inhibition of both proteasome and NF-kappaB activity in blood (if possible tumor), and characterizing antitumor activity.
EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN - Cohorts were enrolled onto escalating dose levels of temozolomide (50-75 mg/m(2)) daily, orally, for 6 of 9 weeks and bortezomib (0.75-1.5 mg/m(2)) by i.v. push on days 1, 4, 8, and 11 every 21 days. Peripheral blood mononuclear cells were assayed at specified time points for proteasome inhibition and NF-kappaB biomarker activity.
RESULTS - Bortezomib (1.3 mg/m(2)) and temozolomide (75 mg/m(2)) proved to be the maximum tolerated dose. Dose-limiting toxicities included neurotoxicity, fatigue, diarrhea, and rash. Nineteen melanoma patients were enrolled onto four dose levels. This melanoma population (17 M1c, 10 elevated lactate dehydrogenase, 12 performance status 1-2) showed only one partial response (8 months) and three with stable disease >or=4 months. A significant reduction in proteasome-specific activity was observed 1 hour after infusion at all bortezomib doses. Changes in NF-kappaB electrophoretic mobility shift assay and circulating chemokines in blood failed to correlate with the schedule/dose of bortezomib, inhibition of proteasome activity, or clinical outcome.
CONCLUSIONS - We have defined phase II doses for this schedule of temozolomide with bortezomib. Although proteasome activity was inhibited for a limited time in peripheral blood mononuclear cells, we were unable to show consistent effects on NF-kappaB activation.
BACKGROUND - In limited institution phase 2 studies, thalidomide and temozolomide has yielded response rates (RRs) up to 32% for advanced melanoma, leading to the use of this combination as "standard" by some. We conducted a multicenter phase 2 trial to better define the clinical efficacy of thalidomide and temozolomide and the immune modulatory effects of thalidomide, when combined with temozolomide, in patients with metastatic melanoma.
METHODS - Patients must have had stage IV cutaneous melanoma, no active brain metastases, Zubrod PS 0-1, up to 1 prior systemic therapy excluding thalidomide, temozolomide, or dacarbazine, adequate organ function, and given informed consent. The primary endpoint was 6-month progression-free survival (PFS). Secondary endpoints included overall survival (OS), RR, toxicities, and assessment of relationships between biomarkers and clinical outcomes. Patients received thalidomide (200 mg/d escalated to 400 mg/d for patients <70, or 100 mg/d escalated to 250 mg/d for patients > or =70) plus temozolomide (75 mg/m(2)/d x 6 weeks, and then 2 weeks rest).
RESULTS - Sixty-four patients were enrolled; 2 refused treatment. The 6-month PFS was 15% (95% confidence interval [CI], 6%-23%), the 1-year OS was 35% (95% CI, 24%-47%), and the RR was 13% (95% CI, 5%-25%), all partial. One treatment-related death occurred from myocardial infarction; 3 other grade 4 events occurred, including pulmonary embolism, neutropenia, and central nervous system (CNS) ischemia. There was no significant correlation between biomarkers and PFS or OS.
CONCLUSIONS - This combination of thalidomide and temozolomide does not appear to have a clinical benefit that exceeds dacarbazine alone. We would not recommend it further for phase 3 trials or for standard community use.
The BRAFV600E mutation is common in human melanoma. This mutation enhances IkappaB kinase (IKK)/nuclear factor-kappaB (NF-kappaB) and extracellular signal-regulated kinase/activator protein signaling cascades. In this study, we evaluated the efficacy of targeting either B-Raf or IKKbeta in combination with the DNA alkylating agent temozolomide for treatment of advanced metastatic melanoma. Xenografts of Hs294T human metastatic melanoma cells exhibiting the BRAFV600E mutation were treated with inhibitors of IKKbeta (BMS-345541), B-Raf (BAY 54-9085), and/or temozolomide. Drug response was mechanistically analyzed in vitro and in vivo. In this study, we determined that the antitumor activity of all three drugs depends on inhibition of NF-kappaB. BMS-345541 inhibits IKKbeta-mediated phosphorylation of IkappaBalpha and thus blocks the nuclear localization of NF-kappaB, whereas BAY 54-9085 inhibits activation of NF-kappaB through a mechanism that does not involve stabilization of IkappaBalpha. Moreover, BMS-345541, but not BAY 54-9085, activates the death pathways of p53 and c-Jun-NH2-kinase, contributing to the killing of melanoma cells. Temozolomide inhibits both NF-kappaB and extracellular signal-regulated kinase activity, conferring effective in vivo antitumor activity. Thus, temozolomide, but not BAY 54-9085, has a synergistic in vivo antitumor effect with BMS-345541. We conclude that the efficacy of antimelanoma therapy depends on inhibition of expression of antiapoptotic genes transcriptionally regulated by NF-kappaB. In contrast, drug targeting of the extracellular signal-regulated kinase/mitogen-activated protein kinase pathway alone in melanoma cells is ineffective for melanoma therapy in cases where NF-kappaB is not also targeted.
BACKGROUND - The combination of temozolomide (TMZ) and thalidomide was reported to produce a high response rate, including shrinkage of brain metastases, in patients with metastatic melanoma. The authors tested the efficacy of a regimen including TMZ, thalidomide, and whole brain radiation therapy (WBRT) in patients with brain (CNS) metastases from melanoma.
METHODS - Patients with melanoma, CNS metastases documented by magnetic resonance imaging, and no prior systemic chemotherapy received WBRT, 30 Gray in 10 fractions, Days 1 to 5 and 8 to 12; TMZ, 75 mg/m(2)/day, Weeks 1 to 6; and thalidomide, 100 mg/day, Weeks 1 to 4, then escalated by 100 mg/day at Weeks 5, 7, and 9 as tolerated to a maximum of 400 mg/day. CNS and systemic tumor response was assessed at Week 10. Patients without CNS or clinically significant systemic disease progression received additional cycles of TMZ at 10-week intervals.
RESULTS - Thirty-nine patients received treatment, and 3 exhibited CNS response (1 complete response, 2 partial responses) (response rate, 7.6%; 95% confidence interval, 0.7%-16.1%), all unconfirmed by repeat imaging. Seven patients had stable CNS disease at 10 weeks. No patient exhibited a systemic response. Only 4 patients received 2 cycles of therapy, and just 1 received 3. Median time to progression was 7 weeks, and median overall survival was 4 months. Grade 3-4 side effects included deep venous thrombosis (3), pulmonary embolism (1), and CNS events (12). Eighteen (45%) patients required admission for side effects (7) and/or symptomatic disease progression (11).
CONCLUSIONS - The efficacy of TMZ, thalidomide, and WBRT in the treatment of CNS metastatic melanoma is low. Other treatment approaches should be considered for this patient population.
(c) 2008 American Cancer Society.
Temozolomide is an oral alkylating agent recently approved for the treatment of glioblastoma multiforme. It has a favorable side effect profile and is generally well tolerated. Although mild respiratory symptoms have been described, pulmonary toxicity that requires discontinuation of therapy is rare. To our knowledge, this is the first case of temozolomide-associated organizing pneumonitis.
PURPOSE - Inhibiting hypoxia-inducible factor-1 (HIF-1) represents a unique mechanism for cancer therapy. It is conceived that HIF-1 inhibitors may synergize with many classes of cancer therapeutic agents, such as angiogenesis inhibitors and cytotoxic drugs, to achieve a more robust tumor response. However, these hypotheses have not been rigorously tested in tumor models in vivo. The present study was carried out to evaluate the antitumor efficacy of combining HIF-1 inhibition with angiogenesis inhibitors or cytotoxic agents.
EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN - Using a D54MG-derived tumor model that allows knockdown of HIF-1alpha on doxycycline treatment, we examined the tumor responses to chemotherapeutic agents, including the angiogenesis inhibitor ABT-869 and cytotoxic agents 1,3-bis(2-chloroethyl)-1-nitrosourea and temozolomide, in the presence or absence of an intact HIF-1 pathway.
RESULTS - Surprisingly, inhibiting HIF-1 in tumors treated with the angiogenesis inhibitor ABT-869 did not produce much added benefit compared with ABT-869 treatment alone, suggesting that the combination of an angiogenesis inhibitor with a HIF-1 inhibitor may not be a robust therapeutic regimen. In contrast, the cytotoxic drug temozolomide, when used in combination with HIF-1alpha knockdown, exhibited a superadditive and likely synergistic therapeutic effect compared with the monotherapy of either treatment alone in the D54MG glioma model.
CONCLUSIONS - Our results show that the DNA alkylating agent temozolomide exhibits robust antitumor efficacy when used in combination with HIF-1 inhibition in D54MG-derived tumors, suggesting that the combination of temozolomide with HIF-1 inhibitors might be an effective regimen for cancer therapy. In addition, our results also show that the RNA interference-based inducible knockdown model can be a valuable platform for further evaluation of the combination treatment of other cancer therapeutics with HIF-1 inhibition.
Melanoma poses a great challenge to patients, oncologists, and biologists because of its nearly universal resistance to chemotherapy. Many studies have shown that nuclear factor kappaB is constitutively activated in melanoma, thereby promoting the proliferation of melanoma cells by inhibiting the apoptotic responses to chemotherapy. Nuclear factor kappaB activity is regulated by phosphorylation and subsequent degradation of inhibitor of nuclear factor kappaB by the ubiquitin-proteasome pathway. In this study, we show that the novel proteasome inhibitor, bortezomib, inhibited the growth of melanoma cells in vitro at a concentration range of 0.1-10 nM and in combination with the chemotherapeutic agent temozolomide, the inhibitory effect on melanoma cell growth was even more prominent. Data from a murine model showed reduced tumor growth when bortezomib was administered to human melanoma tumors. Strikingly, animals receiving bortezomib in combination with temozolomide achieved complete remission of palpable tumors after only 30 days of therapy, lasting >200 days. Our data indicate strongly that bortezomib in combination with chemotherapeutic agents should be studied additionally for the treatment of melanoma.