[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Malignant gliomas and childhood ependymomas have a high rate of treatment failure. Epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) activation has been implicated in the tumorigenesis and radioresistance of many cancers, including brain tumors. Therefore, combining EGFR targeting with irradiation is a potentially attractive therapeutic option. We evaluated the tyrosine kinase inhibitor gefitinib for its antitumor activity and potential to radio-sensitize in vivo in two xenograft models: an EGFR amplified glioma and an EGFR expressing ependymoma, both derived from primary tumors. When administered at 100 mg/kg for 5 consecutive days, gefitinib-induced partial tumor regression in all treated EGFR amplified IGRG88 glioma xenografts. The addition of 1 Gy of irradiation prior to gefitinib administration resulted in 5 complete and 4 partial regressions for the 9 treated tumors as well as a significant tumor growth delay of 33 days for the combined treatment compared to 19 days for each therapy alone, suggesting additive antitumor activity. Tumor regression was associated with inhibition of AKT and MAPK pathways by gefitinib. In contrast, the ependymoma IGREP83 was sensitive to irradiation, but remained resistant to gefitinib. Combined treatment was associated with inhibition of radiation-induced MAPK phosphorylation and significant induction of apoptotic cell death though radiation-induced AKT phosphorylation was maintained. Depending on the scheduling of both therapies, a trend towards superior antitumor activity was observed with combined treatment. Thus, EGFR targeting through tyrosine kinase inhibition appears to be a promising new approach in the treatment of EGFR-driven glioma, particularly in combination with radiation therapy.
International Journal of Cancer 07/2008; 123(1):209-16. DOI:10.1002/ijc.23488 · 5.09 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Busulfan is an example of a drug eliminated through glutathione S-transferase (GST)-catalyzed conjugation with reduced glutathione (GSH). We studied the pharmacokinetics and toxicity of busulfan in C57BL6 mice in correlation with liver GST activity and GSH synthesis by accurate determination of precursors, namely, gamma-glutamyl-cysteine and cysteine. A significantly lower incidence of acute toxicity was observed in mice receiving busulfan 16.5 mg/kg twice a day compared with animals receiving 33 mg/kg once a day. In both cases, a total dose of 132 mg/kg was administered over 4 days. The difference in toxicity was explained by pharmacokinetics since a strong induction of clearance was observed only in animals treated twice daily. Induction of metabolism was correlated with an increase in liver cysteine content and enhanced glutathione synthesis rate, whereas GST activity was unchanged. To our knowledge, this is the first time that in vivo flux of GSH synthesis has been shown to be closely related to a drug plasma clearance and toxicity. These results allow hypothesizing that GSH liver synthesis may directly influence busulfan clearance in humans with possible implications in the occurrence of hepatic veno-occlusive disease.
Drug Metabolism and Disposition 03/2007; 35(2):306-14. DOI:10.1124/dmd.106.012880 · 3.25 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In vivo neuroblastoma (NB) xenograft model, resistant to the DNA-topoisomerase I inhibitor irinotecan (CPT-11), has been established to study resistance mechanisms acquired in a therapeutic setting. Common mechanisms of resistance were not involved in this resistance. Thus, we compared the gene expression profiles of sensitive, resistant, and reverted tumors using cDNA expression arrays. Expression of selected transcripts was confirmed by quantitative real-time PCR. We found that pleiotrophin (PTN), a heparin-binding growth factor, was the only gene significantly affected: PTN gene expression was downregulated in all resistant tumors (8-14-fold) as compared to sensitive tumors, and was increased (2-4-fold) in all reverted tumors as compared to resistant tumors. PTN thus appeared to be a likely candidate gene associated with resistance to CPT-11 in this in vivo model. To investigate the direct implication of PTN in NB, we transfected two NB cell lines with RNA interferences in order to silence PTN. PTN failed to demonstrate implication in resistance to CPT-11 in vitro but could influence sensitivity to CPT-11 exclusively through an in vivo mechanism. Indeed, vasculature was significantly enhanced in resistant NB xenografts compared to sensitive and reverted xenografts, and we suggest that PTN is acting in our resistant in vivo NB model as an angiostatic factor.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A liquid chromatography/tandem mass spectrometry assay of glutathione (GSH), glutathione disulfide (GSSG) and of precursors (gamma-glutamyl-cysteine, cysteinyl-glycine, cysteine, cystine, homocysteine and homocystine) was developed to study glutathione synthesis in mice liver. After iodoacetic acid derivatization, the analytes were analyzed using reversed-phase gradient HPLC and detected using multiple reaction monitoring. Linear calibrations were performed over the concentrations range of 100-10,000 ng/mL for the thiol-containing precursors and extended up to 100,000 ng/mL for GSH and GSSG. The method was validated for each compound with inter-day accuracy below 11.9% and with precision below 15%. The method showed low limits of quantitation of 100 ng/mL for each thiol-containing compound and GSSG and of 200 ng/mL for other disulfides.
Journal of Chromatography B 03/2006; 832(1):67-74. DOI:10.1016/j.jchromb.2005.12.037 · 2.73 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Advanced stage and relapsing neuroblastoma (NB) has a poor prognosis with frequent treatment failures, warranting new treatment options and enhanced local tumor control. Treatment with conditionally replicative adenoviruses (CRAds) has shown effectiveness in various preclinical cancer models, but has not yet been evaluated for local control of NB. Here, we tested the efficacy of the CRAd AdDelta24 and of two AdDelta24 derivatives against NB. Derivative AdDelta24-425S11 infects cells deficient in coxsackie/adenovirus receptor (CAR) via the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR). Derivative AdDelta24-p53 expresses the tumor suppressor protein p53 to promote oncolysis.
Expression of CAR and EGFR, and p53 pathway and DNA damage responses were analyzed in six NB cell lines and two xenografts derived from primary NB using immunohistochemistry, reporter gene transactivation, Western blot and fluorescence-activated cell sorting (FACS) analysis. Efficacy of AdDelta24, AdDelta24-425S11 and AdDelta24-p53 against NB was evaluated in vitro by cell viability analysis and in vivo by monitoring subcutaneous xenograft tumor growth in mice and by histological analysis of treated tumors.
Neuroblastoma cell lines were sensitive to oncolysis by AdDelta24, with a higher susceptibility of those with functional p53 and intact DNA damage responses. Compared to AdDelta24, AdDelta24-p53 exhibited enhanced oncolytic potency on all NB cell lines independent of their p53 status and AdDelta24-425S11 was more effective against CAR-low IGR-NB8 cells. Moreover, five daily intratumoral injections of 10(8) plaque-forming units (pfu) of AdDelta24-p53 or AdDelta24-425S11 into subcutaneous IGR-NB8 and IGR-N91 xenografts at an advanced tumor stage yielded significant tumor growth delays (TGD). In contrast, at this dose, AdDelta24 did not cause significant TGD of neuroblastoma xenografts. Injection of AdDelta24-p53 was associated with extensive cell lysis, apoptotic cell death, and fibrous fascicles in the tumors.
CRAds expressing p53 and targeted towards EGFR appear promising new agents for local control in the treatment of neuroblastoma.
The Journal of Gene Medicine 05/2005; 7(5):584-94. DOI:10.1002/jgm.703 · 2.47 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Previous results have shown that PEG-coated poly(hexadecylcyanoacrylate) (PEG-PHDCA) nanospheres displayed a significant accumulation within an orthotopic 9L gliosarcoma model, after i.v. administration to rats. Hence, the aim of the present study was to evaluate in the same model the pre-clinical efficacy of this carrier when loaded with Doxorubicin, an anticancer drug which poorly distributes in the CNS. Free and nanospheres-encapsulated Doxorubicin were administered with a multiple dose treatment. Their maximum tolerated dose (MTD) and increase in life span were respectively assessed in healthy and intracranially 9L-bearing rats. A comparative biodistribution study of Doxorubicin-loaded and unloaded PEG-PHDCA nanospheres was also performed in the tumor-bearing group. The results showed that the cumulative MTD of nanoparticulate doxorubicin was 1.5 times higher than this of free Doxorubicin. Nevertheless, encapsulated Doxorubicin was unable to elicit a better therapeutic response in the 9L gliosarcoma. Biodistribution study revealed that the Doxorubicin-loaded nanospheres accumulated to a 2.5-fold lesser extent in the 9L tumor as compared to the unloaded nanospheres and that they were mainly localized in the lungs and the spleen. Such a typical profile indicated aggregation with plasma proteins as a consequence of the positive surface charge of these loaded particles; this ionic interaction resulting from drug encapsulation was mainly responsible for 9L treatment failure.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: CPT-11 (irinotecan) is a DNA-topoisomerase I inhibitor with preclinical activity against neuroblastoma (NB) xenografts. The aim was to establish in vivo an NB xenograft resistant to CPT-11 in order to study the resistance mechanisms acquired in a therapeutic setting. IGR-NB8 is an immature NB xenograft with MYCN amplification and 1p deletion, which is sensitive to CPT-11. Athymic mice bearing advanced-stage subcutaneous tumours were treated with CPT-11 (27 mg kg(-1) day(-1) x 5) every 21 days (1 cycle) for a maximum of four cycles. After tumour regrowth, a new in vivo passage was performed and the CPT-11 treatment was repeated. After the third passage, a resistant xenograft was obtained (IGRNB8-R). The tumour growth delay (TGD) was reduced from 115 at passage 1 to 40 at passage 4 and no complete or partial regression was observed. After further exposure to the drug, up to 28 passages, the resistant xenograft was definitively established with a TGD from 17 at passage 28. Resistant tumours reverted to sensitive tumours after 15 passages without treatment. IGR-NB8-R remained sensitive to cyclophosphamide and cisplatin and cross-resistance was observed with the topoisomerase I inhibitor topotecan. No quantitative or qualitative topoisomerase I modifications were observed. The level of expression of multidrug resistance 1 (MDR1), MDR-associated protein 1 (MRP1) and, breast cancer resistance protein, three members of the ATP-binding cassette transporter family was not modified over passages. Our results suggest a novel resistance mechanism, probably not involving the mechanisms usually observed in vitro.
British Journal of Cancer 10/2004; 91(6):1205-12. DOI:10.1038/sj.bjc.6602079 · 4.84 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Prognosis of malignant glioma is poor, and results of treatment remain mediocre. Conditionally replicative adenoviruses hold promise as alternative anticancer agents for the treatment of malignant glioma. Here, we evaluated the conditionally replicative adenovirus AdDelta24 and its recently developed derivative AdDelta24-p53, which expresses functional p53 tumor suppressor protein while replicating in cancer cells, for treatment of malignant glioma. In comparison to its parent AdDelta24, AdDelta24-p53 killed most malignant glioma cell lines and primary glioblastoma multiforme short-term cultures more effectively, irrespective of their p53 status. Moreover, AdDelta24-p53 caused more frequent regression and more delayed growth of IGRG121 xenografts derived from a glioblastoma multiforme in vivo. Five intratumoral injections of 10(7) pfu AdDelta24 gave 24 days median tumor growth delay (P < 0.01), 30% tumor regressions, and 30% animals surviving >120 days tumor-free or with a minimal tumor residual. The same dose of AdDelta24-p53 caused >113 days of median tumor growth delay (P < 0.001), 70% tumor regressions, and 60% animals surviving >120 days tumor-free or with a minimal tumor residual. Antitumor effects in vivo were associated with extensive conditionally replicative adenovirus replication, apoptosis induction, and tumor morphology changes, including dissociation, inflammatory cell infiltration, and necrosis. We conclude that conditionally replicative adenoviruses expressing p53 are promising new agents for treatment of malignant glioma.
Cancer Research 08/2004; 64(16):5753-9. DOI:10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-04-0499 · 9.33 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Topoisomerase I inhibitors, such as CPT-11, are potent anticancer drugs against neuroblastoma (NB). Differentiating agents, such as retinoids, improve the survival of children with metastatic NB. To characterize the biological effects associated with exposure to CPT-11 in vivo, athymic mice bearing a human NB xenograft, named IGR-NB8 and characterized as an immature NB with poor prognostic markers, were treated with CPT-11. Prolonged stable disease was observed, resulting in an overall tumor growth delay of 115 days. During treatment, tumors differentiated into ganglioneuroblastomas (GGNB), which reverted into an immature phenotype when treatment was discontinued. In contrast, 13-cis retinoic acid failed to induce differentiation of IGR-NB8 in vivo. Tumor differentiation was associated with decreased N-myc expression, induction of p73 expression in the perinuclear area and cytoplasm, and a dramatic 35-fold decrease in topoisomerase I (topo I) catalytic activity. The full-length Mr 100,000 topo I protein was present in both pre and post-treatment immature NB xenografts. In contrast, differentiated GGNBs did not contain the Mr 100,000 protein but an intense Mr 48,000 topo I fragment. Furthermore, redistribution of the Mr 48,000 and 68,000 forms to the cytoplasm was observed in differentiated tumors. The same pattern of topo I expression and catalytic activity was observed in NBs and GGNBs obtained from pediatric patients. Our data suggest that prolonged in vivo exposure to CPT-11 induces differentiation of NB xenografts, which is associated with truncation of the topo I enzyme, relocation of the degraded forms to the cytoplasm, and decreased catalytic activity.
Cancer Research 06/2004; 64(9):3223-9. DOI:10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-03-2915 · 9.33 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Human neuroblastoma (NB) is a highly heterogeneous childhood cancer secreting a high level of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). Its vascularization has been clearly correlated with metastatic progression and poor outcome. Thus, molecules that target the vascular endothelium are regarded as new therapeutics of clinical interest. Angiostatin, an internal fragment of plasminogen containing the first four kringle structures, has been described as a powerful angiogenic inhibitor. We used a recombinant adenovirus encoding the human angiostatin kringle 1-3 directly fused to human serum albumin HSA (AdK3-HSA). Coupling to HSA has been previously shown to increase the in vivo half-life of this angiostatic factor, and to lead to tumor growth inhibition in the MDA-MB-231 carcinoma model. For the assessment of antiangiogenic gene therapy in the human NB IGR-N835 tumor model, 5 x 10(9) PFU of AdK3-HSA were intravenously injected in tumor-bearing athymic mice presenting either of the following experimental settings: early stage, established, and minimal residual tumors. No delay in tumor growth was observed in animals treated with AdK3-HSA as compared to those treated with the empty virus AdCO1. In early-stage tumors, kinetics of tumor occurrence and tumor growth were similar in AdK3-HSA- and AdCO1-treated animals. K3-HSA was found to be expressed at high levels (the mean value for the three experiments being 19.4+/-15.9 microg/ml) in the circulation of all animals up to 21-35 days after virus injection. In addition, IGR-N835 tumors were found to be highly vascularized and to release high amounts of angiogenic factors, in particular VEGF (665+/-370 pg/mg total protein). Thus, in spite of high circulating levels, K3-HSA may be unable to displace the NB proangiogenic switch. In this regard, a more promising target to inhibit NB angiogenesis seems to be the VEGF/VEGFR system.
Cancer Gene Therapy 12/2003; 10(11):859-66. DOI:10.1038/sj.cgt.7700639 · 2.42 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In spite of aggressive surgery, irradiation and/or chemotherapy, treatment of malignant gliomas remains a major challenge in adults and children due to high treatment failure. We have demonstrated significant cell lysis and antitumour activity of the E1B-55 kDa-gene-deleted adenovirus ONYX-015 (dl1520, CI-1042; ONYX Pharmaceuticals) in subcutaneous human malignant glioma xenografts deriving from primary tumours. Here, we show the combined efficacy of this oncolytic therapy with radiation therapy. Total body irradiation (5 Gy) of athymic nude mice prior to intratumoral injections of ONYX-015 1 x 10(8) PFU daily for 5 consecutive days yielded additive tumour growth delays in the p53 mutant xenograft IGRG88. Radiation therapy was potentiated in the p53 functional tumour IGRG121 with a 'subtherapeutic' dose of 1 x 10(7) PFU daily for 5 consecutive days, inducing significant tumour growth delay, 90% tumour regression and 50% tumour-free survivors 4 months after treatment. These potentiating effects were not due to increased adenoviral infectivity or replication. Furthermore, cell lysis and induction of apoptosis, the major mechanisms for adenoviral antitumour activity, did not play a major role in the combined treatment strategy. Interestingly, the oncolytic adenovirus seemed to accelerate radiation-induced tumour fibrosis. Potentiating antitumour activity suggests the development of this combined treatment for these highly malignant tumours.
British Journal of Cancer 09/2003; 89(3):577-84. DOI:10.1038/sj.bjc.6601102 · 4.84 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: New active drugs are needed for the treatment of primary brain tumors in both children and adults. S16020 is a cytotoxic olivacine derivative that inhibits topoisomerase II. The aim of the study was to determine its antitumor activity in athymic mice bearing subcutaneous medulloblastoma (IGRM33, 34, 57) and glioblastoma (IGRG88, 93, 121) xenografts treated at an advanced stage of tumor growth in comparison with that of doxorubicin. Animals were randomly assigned to receive i.v. S16020 or doxorubicin weekly for three consecutive weeks. The optimal dose was 80 mg/kg per week. S16020 demonstrated a significant antitumor activity in two out of three medulloblastoma xenografts. IGRM57 xenografts were highly sensitive with 100% tumor regressions and a tumor growth delay (TGD) of 102 days, while one of eight IGRM34 xenografts showed a partial regression with a TGD of 16 days. Doxorubicin was significantly more active than S16020 in these two models. IGRM33, a model established from a tumor in relapse after chemotherapy and radiotherapy, was refractory to both drugs. S16020 demonstrated a significant antitumor activity in the three glioblastoma xenografts evaluated. The wild-type p53 IGRG93 xenograft was highly sensitive with 100% tumor regressions and a TGD of 54 days. IGRG121 (wt p53) and IGRG88 (mutant p53) were moderately sensitive with TGDs of 33 and 23 days, respectively. Doxorubicin showed greater activity in two of these models. All six xenografts exhibited low expression of mdr1 as quantitated by RT-PCR, and no correlation was found with the activity of either drug. Conversely, a low activity of the two drugs was significantly associated with a high expression of MRP1 in medulloblastomas. Finally, no relationship was observed between drug sensitivity to either drug and expression of their target, topoisomerase IIalpha. In conclusion, S16020 and doxorubicin showed significant antitumor activity in brain tumor xenografts treated at an advanced stage of tumor growth. Their activity was related to MRP1 expression in medulloblastomas.
Cancer Chemotherapy and Pharmacology 06/2003; 51(5):385-94. DOI:10.1007/s00280-003-0584-1 · 2.77 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The aim of the present study was to evaluate the tumor accumulation of radiolabeled long-circulating poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG)-coated hexadecylcyanoacrylate nanospheres and non-PEG-coated hexadecylcyanoacrylate nanospheres (used as control), after intravenous injection in Fischer rats bearing intracerebrally well established 9L gliosarcoma. Both types of nanospheres showed an accumulation with a retention effect in the 9L tumor. However, long-circulating nanospheres concentrated 3.1 times higher in the gliosarcoma, compared with non-PEG-coated nanospheres. The tumor-to-brain ratio of pegylated nanospheres was found to be 11, which was in accordance with the ratios reported for other carriers tested for brain tumor targeting such as long-circulating liposomes or labels for magnetic resonance imaging. In addition, a 4- to 8-fold higher accumulation of the PEG-coated carriers was observed in normal brain regions, when compared with control nanospheres. Using a simplified pharmacokinetic model, two different mechanisms were proposed to explain this higher concentration of PEG-coated nanospheres in a tumoral brain. 1) in the 9L tumor, the preferential accumulation of pegylated nanospheres was attributable to their slower plasma clearance, relative to control nanospheres. Diffusion/convection was the proposed mechanism for extravasation of the nanospheres in the 9L interstitium, across the altered blood-brain barrier. 2) In addition, PEG-coated nanospheres displayed an affinity with the brain endothelial cells (normal brain region), which may not be considered as the result of a simple diffusion/convection process. The exact underlying mechanism of such affinity deserves further investigation, since it was observed to be as important as specific interactions described for immunoliposomes with the blood-brain barrier.
Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics 01/2003; 303(3):928-36. DOI:10.1124/jpet.102.039669 · 3.97 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Treatment of malignant gliomas remains a major challenge in adults and children because of high treatment failure. The E1B 55 kDa-gene deleted adenovirus, ONYX-015 (ONYX Pharmaceuticals), was demonstrated to replicate selectively in and lyse tumor cells. Currently ongoing clinical trials of ONYX-015 in head and neck tumors are promising. Here, we demonstrate ONYX-015-mediated cell lysis and antitumor activity in three of four s.c. human malignant glioma xenografts deriving from primary tumors. Intratumoral injections of ONYX-015, 1 x 10(8) plaque-forming units daily for 5 consecutive days, yielded significant tumor growth delay in the p53 mutant xenografts IGRG88 and the p53 wild-type IGRG93 and IGRG121 treated at an advanced tumor stage. The p53 wild-type tumors IGRG93 and IGRG121 experienced 45% and 82% complete tumor regressions. Four and 8 of 11 animals, respectively, survived tumor free 4 months after treatment. Widespread intratumoral adenoviral replication was observed in tumor cells of these two xenografts compared with only scattered replication in the p53-mutant tumors. In addition to a fast tumor growth rate, wild-type p53 status was associated with increased antitumor activity of the E1B-attenuated virus, and induction of functional p53 may therefore determine adenoviral cytolysis in tumor cells. In conclusion, ONYX-015 displayed a major antitumor activity in human xenografts derived from primary malignant glioma supporting its development in the treatment of these highly malignant tumors.
Cancer Research 03/2002; 62(3):764-72. · 9.33 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: High-dose busulphan-containing chemotherapy regimens have shown high response rates in children with relapsed or refractory neuroblastoma, Ewing's sarcoma and medulloblastoma. However, the anti-tumour activity of busulfan as a single agent remains to be defined, and this was evaluated in athymic mice bearing advanced stage subcutaneous paediatric solid tumour xenografts. Because busulphan is highly insoluble in water, the use of several vehicles for enteral and parenteral administration was first investigated in terms of pharmacokinetics and toxicity. The highest bioavailability was obtained with busulphan in DMSO administered i.p. When busulphan was suspended in carboxymethylcellulose and given orally or i.p., the bioavailability was poor. Then, in the therapeutic experiments, busulphan in DMSO was administered i.p. on days 0 and 4. At the maximum tolerated total dose (50 mg kg(-1)), busulphan induced a significant tumour growth delay, ranging from 12 to 34 days in the three neuroblastomas evaluated and in one out of three medulloblastomas. At a dose level above the maximum tolerated dose, busulphan induced complete and partial tumour regressions. Busulphan was inactive in a peripheral primitive neuroectodermal tumour (PNET) xenograft. When busulphan pharmacokinetics in mice and humans were considered, the estimated systemic exposure at the therapeutically active dose in mice (113 microg h ml(-1)) was close to the mean total systemic exposure in children receiving high-dose busulphan (102.4 microg h ml(-1)). In conclusion, busulphan displayed a significant anti-tumour activity in neuroblastoma and medulloblastoma xenografts at plasma drug concentrations which can be achieved clinically in children receiving high-dose busulphan-containing regimens.
British Journal of Cancer 03/1999; 79(5-6):787-92. DOI:10.1038/sj.bjc.6690126 · 4.84 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Although the prognosis of childhood cancers has dramatically improved over the last three decades, new active drugs are needed. Camptothecins represent a very attractive new class of anticancer drugs to develop in paediatric oncology. The preclinical and clinical development of two of these DNA-topoisomerase I inhibitors, i.e. topotecan and irinotecan, is ongoing in paediatric malignancies. Here we review the currently available results of this evaluation. Topotecan proved to be active against several paediatric tumour xenografts. In paediatric phase I studies exploring several administration schedules, myelosuppression was dose-limiting. The preliminary results of topotecan evaluation in phase II study showed antitumour activity in neuroblastoma (response rate: 15% at relapse and 37% in newly diagnosed patients with disseminated disease) and in metastatic rhabdomyosarcoma (40% in untreated patients). Topotecan-containing drug combinations are currently investigated. Irinotecan displayed a broad spectrum of activity in paediatric solid tumour xenografts, including rhabdo-myosarcoma, neuroblastoma, peripheral primitive neuroectodermal tumour, medulloblastoma, ependymoma, malignant glioma and juvenile colon cancer. For several of these histology types, tumour-free survivors have been observed among animals bearing an advanced-stage tumour at time of treatment. The clinical evaluation of irinotecan in children is ongoing. Irinotecan undergoes a complex in vivo biotransformation involving several enzyme systems, such as carboxylesterase, UDPGT and cytochrome P450, in children as well as in adults. Preclinical studies of both drugs have shown that their activity was schedule-dependent. The optimal schedule of administration is an issue that needs to be addressed in children. In conclusion, the preliminary results of the paediatric evaluation of camptothecin derivatives show very encouraging results in childhood malignancies. The potential place of camptothecins in the treatment of paediatric malignant tumours is discussed.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Fotemustine is a chloroethylnitrosourea with antitumor activity in disseminated melanoma and adult primary brain tumors. Because new drugs are required for the treatment of medulloblastoma in children, we evaluated the preclinical antitumor activity of fotemustine in four s.c. medulloblastoma xenografts, in comparison with 1,3-bis(2-chloroethyl)-1-nitrosourea (BCNU). Both drugs were administered as a single i.p. injection to nude mice bearing advanced-stage tumor. Fotemustine displayed significant antitumor activity in three of four medulloblastoma xenografts; two, IGRM34 and IGRM57, were highly sensitive, with 37 and 100% tumor-free survivors, respectively, more than 120 days after treatment at the highest nontoxic dose (50 mg/kg). Fotemustine was also highly active in a malignant glioma xenograft (IGRG88; five of six tumor-free survivors on day 177). Fotemustine proved to be significantly more active than BCNU in IGRM34 and the glioma xenograft IGRG88. The DNA repair protein O6-alkylguanine-DNA alkyltransferase (ATase) was detected in all tumor xenografts, ranging in activity from 6 to 892 fmol/mg protein. The high in vivo sensitivity to fotemustine and BCNU observed in three xenografts was clearly associated with a low ATase activity (> 20 fmol/mg), whereas the two poorly sensitive or refractory medulloblastoma xenografts showed high ATase activity (> 500 fmol/mg). Alkylpurine-DNA N-glycosylase activity was detected in all tumor xenografts but at levels ranging only from 513 to 1105 fmol/mg/h; no consistent relationship was found between alkylpurine-DNA N-glycosylase activity and the in vivo sensitivity to the two chloroethylnitrosoureas. The improved activity and tolerance of fotemustine in comparison with BCNU in pediatric medulloblastoma xenografts strongly support the clinical development of this agent in children with brain tumors, in which ATase should be examined as a potential prognostic indicator.
Clinical Cancer Research 03/1998; 4(2):463-8. · 8.72 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: DNA-topoisomerase I is the nuclear target of new anticancer drugs, namely camptothecin and its derivatives. In order to establish the rational basis for their clinical development in paediatric oncology, the antitumour activity of irinotecan (CPT-11) and topotecan, two camptothecin water-soluble derivatives, was studied in nude mice bearing neuroblastoma xenografts. The panel was composed of 4 previously established subcutaneous xenograft lines (IGR-N835, IGR-N91, IGR-NB3, IGR-NB8) that exhibited the common biological markers of poor prognosis in children (MYCN amplification, 1p deletion, paradiploidy and/or MDR1 overexpression). Irinotecan and topotecan were administered i.v. or i.p. over 5 consecutive days in animals bearing tumours. Irinotecan (40 mg/kg/day) induced 20-100% complete regressions with tumour growth delays ranging from 20 to 46 days. Two out of 10 IGR-N91 bearing animals were tumour free more than 120 days after treatment with the top dose (50 mg/kg/day). Topotecan (2.7 mg/kg/day) induced 0-67% complete regressions with tumour growth delays ranging from 23 to 50 days. One out of 8 IGR-NB3 bearing mice was tumour free at the end of the experiment. The antitumour activity of both drugs was clearly sustained at a lower dose level. Topoisomerase I activity was assayed in 15 neuroblastomas, 3 ganglioneuroblastomas and 2 normal adrenal glands, using a DNA relaxation assay. Topoisomerase I activity ranged from 69 to 1304 arbitrary units/mg of protein, and was significantly higher in immature neuroblastomas than in ganglioneuroblastomas and adrenal glands. In conclusion, irinotecan and topotecan are active against neuroblastoma xenografts. Their target is expressed in patients' tumour samples. Clinical development of topoisomerase I inhibitors in children with neuroblastoma is warranted.
European Journal of Cancer 11/1997; 33(12):2011-5. DOI:10.1016/S0959-8049(97)00296-7 · 5.42 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The anti-tumor activity of irinotecan (CPT-11), a DNA-topoisomerase 1 inhibitor, was evaluated in 5 advanced stage subcutaneous medulloblastoma xenografts in nude mice, using different schedules of administration. With a 5-day schedule, the highest i.v. dose tested (40 mg kg-1 day-1) induced complete regressions in all xenografts but 1, and delays in tumor growth always exceeded 30 days. Two xenografts, IGRM11 and IGRM33, were highly sensitive, and animals survived tumor-free beyond 120 days after treatment. CPT-11 clearly retained its anti-tumor activity at a lower dosage (27 mg kg-1 day-1). CPT-11 was significantly more active than cyclophosphamide, thiotepa and etoposide against the 3 xenografts evaluated. To study the schedule dependency of its anti-tumor activity, CPT-11 was given i.v. at the same total doses over the same period (33 days) using either a protracted or a sequential schedule in IGRM34-bearing mice. With a dose of 10 mg kg-1 day-1 given on days 0-4, days 7-11, days 21-25 and days 28-32 (total dose, 200 mg kg-1), 3 of 6 animals were tumor free on day 378. The same total dose given with a sequential schedule, i.e., 20 mg kg-1 day-1 on days 0-4 and days 28-32, failed to induce complete regression. The plasma pharmacokinetics of CPT-11 and SN-38 were studied in IGRM34-bearing animals after a single i.v. dose of 10 and 40 mg kg-1. The plasma clearance rate of CPT-11 was dose dependent. The ratio between the SN-38 and CPT-11 area under the curve in plasma was 0.4-0.65, i.e., significantly higher than that observed in humans at the maximum tolerated dose (0.01-0.05). Conversely, this ratio was 10-fold lower in tumor than in plasma. Clinical development of irinotecan is warranted in pediatric malignancies.
International Journal of Cancer 10/1997; 73(1):156-63. DOI:10.1002/(SICI)1097-0215(19970926)73:13.3.CO;2-N · 5.09 Impact Factor