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Los Angeles, CA, United States

Cai W.,MS and 119 | Cai W.,University of Southern California | Cai W.,Liaoning Medical University | Maldonado N.V.,MS and 119 | And 11 more authors.
British Journal of Cancer | Year: 2010

Background: The combination of temozolomide (TMZ) and irinotecan is a regimen used in neuroblastoma patients with recurrent disease. O 6-methylguanine-DNA methyltransferase (MGMT) may have a function in resistance to TMZ. Using neuroblastoma pre-clinical models, we determined whether the inhibition of MGMT by O 6-benzylguanine (O6-BG) could enhance the anti-tumour activity of TMZ and irinotecan. Methods: The cytotoxicity of TMZ and irinotecan, either alone or in combination, was measured in five neuroblastoma cell lines in the presence or absence of O6-BG with a fluorescence-based cell viability assay (DIMSCAN). Anti-tumour activity was measured in three neuroblastoma xenograft models. Results: MGMT mRNA and protein were expressed in 9 out of 10 examined cell lines. Pretreatment of cells with 25 M O6-BG decreased MGMT protein expression and enhanced The TMZ cytotoxicity by up to 0.3-1.4 logs in four out of five tested cell lines. TMZ (25 mg kg -1 per day for 5 days every 3 weeks for four cycles) did not significantly improve mice survival, whereas the same schedule of irinotecan (7.5 mg kg -1 per day) significantly improved survival (P<0.0001) in all three xenograft models. Combining O6-BG and/or TMZ with irinotecan further enhanced survival. Conclusion: Our in vitro and in vivo findings suggest that irinotecan drives the activity of irinotecan and TMZ in recurrent neuroblastoma. Inhibitors of MGMT warrant further investigation for enhancing the activity of regimens that include TMZ. © 2010 Cancer Research UK.

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