Neuro oncology Research Group

Amsterdam, Netherlands

Neuro oncology Research Group

Amsterdam, Netherlands
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Lin F.,Netherlands Cancer Institute | De Gooijer M.C.,Netherlands Cancer Institute | De Gooijer M.C.,Neuro oncology Research Group | Roig E.M.,Netherlands Cancer Institute | And 7 more authors.
Clinical Cancer Research | Year: 2014

Purpose: Little is known about the optimal clinical use of ABT-888 (veliparib) for treatment of glioblastoma. ABT-888 is a PARP inhibitor undergoing extensive clinical evaluation in glioblastoma, because it may synergize with the standard-of-care temozolomide (TMZ). We have elucidated important factors controlling ABT-888 efficacy in glioblastoma. Experimental Design: We used genetically engineered spontaneous glioblastoma mouse models and allograft models that were orthotopically transplanted into wild-type (WT) and Abcb1/Abcg2-deficient (KO) recipients. Results: ABT-888/TMZ is not efficacious against p53;p16Ink4a/p19Arf;K-Rasv12;LucR allografts in wild-type recipients, indicating inherent resistance. Abcb1/Abcg2 mediated efflux of ABT-888 at the blood-brain barrier (BBB) causes a 5-fold reduction of ABT-888 brain penetration (P 0.0001) that was fully reversible by elacridar. Efficacy studies in WT and KO recipients and/or concomitant elacridar demonstrate that Abcb1/ Abcg2 at the BBB and in tumor cells impair TMZ/ABT-888 combination treatment efficacy. Elacridar also markedly improved TMZ/ABT-888 combination treatment in the spontaneous p53;p16Ink4a/p19Arf;K-Rasv12; LucR glioblastoma model. Importantly, ABT-888 does enhance TMZ efficacy in Pten deficient glioblastoma allografts and spontaneous tumors, even in Abcb1/Abcg2 proficient wild-type mice. Loss of PTEN occurs frequently in glioblastoma (36%) and in silico analysis on patient with glioblastoma samples revealed that it is associated with a worse overall survival (310 days vs. 620 days, n = 117). Conclusions: The potential of ABT-888 in glioblastoma can best be demonstrated in patients with PTEN null tumors. Therefore, clinical trials with ABT-888 should evaluate these patients as a separate group. Importantly, inhibition of ABCB1 and ABCG2 (by elacridar) may improve the efficacy of TMZ/ABT-888 therapy in all glioblastoma patients. Clin Cancer Res. © 2014 American Association for Cancer Research.


Saydam O.,Neuroscience Progra | Saydam O.,Medical University of Vienna | Senol O.,Neuroscience Progra | Wurdinger T.,Neuroscience Progra | And 10 more authors.
Cancer Research | Year: 2011

Micro RNAs (miRNA) negatively regulate protein-coding genes at the posttranscriptional level and are critical in tumorigenesis. Schwannomas develop from proliferation of dedifferentiated Schwann cells, which normally wrap nerve fibers to help support and insulate nerves. In this study, we carried out high-throughput miRNA expression profiling of human vestibular schwannomas by using an array representing 407 known miRNAs to explore the role of miRNAs in tumor growth. Twelve miRNAs were found to be significantly deregulated in tumor samples as compared with control nerve tissue, defining a schwannoma-typical signature. Among these miRNAs, we focused on miR-7, which was one of the most downregulated in these tumors and has several known oncogene targets, including mRNAs for epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) and p21-activated kinase 1 (Pak1). We found that overexpression of miR-7 inhibited schwannoma cell growth both in culture and in xenograft tumor models in vivo, which correlated with downregulation of these signaling pathways. Furthermore, we identified a novel direct target of miR-7, the mRNA for associated cdc42 kinase 1 (Ack1), with the expression levels of miR-7 and Ack1 being inversely correlated in human schwannoma samples. These results represent the first miRNA profiling of schwannomas and the first report of a tumor suppressor function for miR-7 in these tumors that is mediated by targeting the EGFR, Pak1, and Ack1 oncogenes. Our findings suggest miR-7 as a potential therapeutic molecule for schwannoma treatment, and they prompt clinical evaluation of drugs that can inhibit the EGFR, Pak1, and Ack1 signaling pathways to treat this tumor type. ©2010 AACR.


Chen W.W.,Harvard University | Chen W.W.,Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology | Balaj L.,Harvard University | Balaj L.,Neuro Oncology Research Group | And 17 more authors.
Molecular Therapy - Nucleic Acids | Year: 2013

Development of biofluid-based molecular diagnostic tests for cancer is an important step towards tumor characterization and real-time monitoring in a minimally invasive fashion. Extracellular vesicles (EVs) are released from tumor cells into body fluids and can provide a powerful platform for tumor biomarkers because they carry tumor proteins and nucleic acids. Detecting rare point mutations in the background of wild-type sequences in biofluids such as blood and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) remains a major challenge. Techniques such as BEAMing (beads, emulsion, amplification, magnetics) PCR and droplet digital PCR (ddPCR) are substantially more sensitive than many other assays for mutant sequence detection. Here, we describe a novel approach that combines biofluid EV RNA and BEAMing RT-PCR (EV-BEAMing), as well droplet digital PCR to interrogate mutations from glioma tumors. EVs from CSF of patients with glioma were shown to contain mutant IDH1 transcripts, and we were able to reliably detect and quantify mutant and wild-type IDH1 RNA transcripts in CSF of patients with gliomas. EV-BEAMing and EV-ddPCR represent a valuable new strategy for cancer diagnostics, which can be applied to a variety of biofluids and neoplasms. © 2013 The American Society of Gene & Cell Therapy.


Momen-Heravi F.,Harvard University | Balaj L.,Massachusetts General Hospital | Balaj L.,Neuro Oncology Research Group | Alian S.,Harvard University | And 4 more authors.
Frontiers in Physiology | Year: 2012

Microvesicles are nano-sized lipid vesicles released by all cells in vivo and in vitro. They are released physiologically under normal conditions but their rate of release is higher under pathological conditions such as tumors. Once released they end up in the systemic circulation and have been found and characterized in all biofluids such as plasma, serum, cerebrospinal fluid, breast milk, ascites, and urine. Microvesicles represent the status of the donor cell they are released from and they are currently under intense investigation as a potential source for disease biomarkers. Currently, the "gold standard" for isolating microvesicles is ultracentrifugation, although alternative techniques such as affinity purification have been explored. Viscosity is the resistance of a fluid to a deforming force by either shear or tensile stress. The different chemical and molecular compositions of biofluids have an effect on its viscosity and this could affect movements of the particles inside the fluid. In this manuscript we addressed the issue of whether viscosity has an effect on sedimentation efficiency of microvesicles using ultracentrifugation. We used different biofluids and spiked them with polystyrene beads and assessed their recovery using the Nanoparticle Tracking Analysis. We demonstrate that MVs recovery inversely correlates with viscosity and as a result, sample dilutions should be considered prior to ultracentrifugation when processing any biofluids. © 2012 Momen-Heravi, Balaj, Alian, Trachtenberg, Hochberg, Skog and Kuo.


Niers J.M.,Massachusetts General Hospital | Niers J.M.,Neuro oncology Research Group | Kerami M.,Massachusetts General Hospital | Kerami M.,Neuro oncology Research Group | And 4 more authors.
Molecular Therapy | Year: 2011

Noninvasive detection and in vivo imaging of apoptosis plays a critical role in the development of therapeutics in many different fields including cancer. We have developed an apoptosis biosensor by fusing green fluorescent protein (GFP) to the N-terminus of the naturally secreted Gaussia luciferase separated by a caspase-3 cleavage peptide consisting of aspartic acid (D), glutamic acid (E), valine (V), and aspartic acid (D) or DEVD. We showed that this fusion is retained in the cytoplasm of cells in an inactive form. Upon apoptosis, the DEVD peptide is cleaved in response to caspase-3 activation, freeing ssGluc, which can now enter the secretory pathway where it is folded properly and is released from the cells and can be detected in the conditioned medium in culture or in blood of live animals ex vivo over time. Because Gluc is secreted from cells via conventional pathway through the endoplasmic reticulum (ER), Golgi and vesicles, we showed that the presence of Gluc in these compartments in response to apoptosis can be visualized in vivo using bioluminescence imaging. This reporter provides a valuable tool for imaging and real-time monitoring of apoptosis and is compatible with high-throughput functional screening application in cultured cells and animal models. © The American Society of Gene &Cell Therapy.


Jansen M.H.A.,niversity Medical Center | Kloet R.W.,VU University Amsterdam | van Vuurden D.G.,niversity Medical Center | van Vuurden D.G.,Neuro oncology Research Group | And 8 more authors.
EJNMMI Research | Year: 2014

Background: Positron emission tomography (PET) scanning with [18 F]fluorodeoxyglucose (18 F-FDG) is a useful diagnostic and prediction tool in brain tumors, but its value in childhood diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG) is still unclear. For interpretation of 18 F-FDG PET results in DIPG, uptake values of the normal pons of children of increasing ages are mandatory. The aim of this study was to determine 18 F-FDG standard uptake value ratios (SUVr) of the normal pons and to compare these to those of DIPG. Methods: We studied 36 subjects with a normal, non-affected pons (aged 5 to 23 years) and 6 patients with DIPG (aged 4 to 17 years) who underwent 18 F-FDG PET scanning. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) was co-registered to define the regions of interest. SUVr and SUVrmax for the pons/cerebellum (SUVrp/c) and the pons/occipital lobe (SUVrp/o) were calculated. Independent-samples t tests and Mann-Whitney U tests were used to compare the mean SUVr and Pearson's test for correlations. Results: For the normal pons, mean SUVrp/c and SUVrp/o were 0.65 (±0.054) and 0.51 (±0.056), respectively. No significant correlations were found between the SUVr of the normal pons and sex, age, nor pontine volume. A modest but statistically significant correlation was found between SUVr and post-injection time acquisition timing. For DIPG, mean SUVrp/c and SUVrp/o were 0.74 (±0.20) and 0.65 (±0.30), respectively, while mean SUVrp(max)/c and SUVrp(max)/o were 1.95 (±0.48) and 1.81 (±0.20), respectively. Conclusion: The SUVr of the unaffected pons are strikingly constant between children, irrespective of sex and age, and can therefore be well used as a reference value for 18 F-FDG PET studies in DIPG. © 2014 Jansen et al.


Niers J.M.,Molecular Therapeutics | Niers J.M.,Neuro oncology Research Group | Chen J.W.,Massachusetts General Hospital | Lewandrowski G.,Molecular Therapeutics | And 10 more authors.
Journal of the American Chemical Society | Year: 2012

We have developed a multifaceted, highly specific reporter for multimodal in vivo imaging and applied it for detection of brain tumors. A metabolically biotinylated, membrane-bound form of Gaussia luciferase was synthesized, termed mbGluc-biotin. We engineered glioma cells to express this reporter and showed that brain tumor formation can be temporally imaged by bioluminescence following systemic administration of coelenterazine. Brain tumors expressing this reporter had high sensitivity for detection by magnetic resonance and fluorescence tomographic imaging upon injection of streptavidin conjugated to magnetic nanoparticles or fluorophore, respectively. Moreover, single photon emission computed tomography showed enhanced imaging of these tumors upon injection with streptavidin complexed to 111In-DTPA-biotin. This work shows for the first time a single small reporter (∼40 kDa) which can be monitored with most available molecular imaging modalities and can be extended for single cell imaging using intravital microscopy, allowing real-time tracking of any cell expressing it in vivo. © 2012 American Chemical Society.


Jansen M.H.A.,VU University Amsterdam | Lagerweij T.,Neuro Oncology Research Group | Lagerweij T.,VU University Amsterdam | Sewing A.C.P.,VU University Amsterdam | And 22 more authors.
Molecular Cancer Therapeutics | Year: 2016

The role of the VEGF inhibitor bevacizumab in the treatment of diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG) is unclear. We aim to study the biodistribution and uptake of zirconium-89 (89Zr)-labeled bevacizumab in DIPG mouse models. Human E98-FM, U251-FM glioma cells, and HSJD-DIPG-007-FLUC primary DIPG cells were injected into the subcutis, pons, or striatum of nude mice. Tumor growth was monitored by bioluminescence imaging (BLI) and visualized by MRI. Seventy-two to 96 hours after 89Zrbevacizumab injections, mice were imaged by positron emission tomography (PET), and biodistribution was analyzed ex vivo. High VEGF expression in human DIPG was confirmed in a publically available mRNA database, but no significant 89Zrbevacizumab uptake could be detected in xenografts located in the pons and striatum at an early or late stage of the disease. E98-FM, and to a lesser extent the U251-FM and HSJD-DIPG-007 subcutaneous tumors, showed high accumulation of 89Zr-bevacizumab. VEGF expression could not be demonstrated in the intracranial tumors by in situ hybridization (ISH) but was clearly present in the perinecrotic regions of subcutaneous E98-FM tumors. The poor uptake of 89Zr-bevacizumab in xenografts located in the brain suggests that VEGF targeting with bevacizumab has limited efficacy for diffuse infiltrative parts of glial brain tumors in mice. Translating these results to the clinic would imply that treatment with bevacizumab in patients with DIPG is only justified after targeting of VEGF has been demonstrated by 89Zr-bevacizumab immuno-PET. We aim to confirm this observation in a clinical PET study with patients with DIPG. © 2016 American Association for Cancer Research.


Maguire C.A.,Massachusetts General Hospital | Maguire C.A.,Harvard University | Bovenberg M.S.,Massachusetts General Hospital | Bovenberg M.S.,Harvard University | And 17 more authors.
Molecular Therapy - Nucleic Acids | Year: 2013

Bioluminescence imaging (BLI) has shown to be crucial for monitoring in vivo biological processes. So far, only dual bioluminescence imaging using firefly (Fluc) and Renilla or Gaussia (Gluc) luciferase has been achieved due to the lack of availability of other efficiently expressed luciferases using different substrates. Here, we characterized a codon-optimized luciferase from Vargula hilgendorfii (Vluc) as a reporter for mammalian gene expression. We showed that Vluc can be multiplexed with Gluc and Fluc for sequential imaging of three distinct cellular phenomena in the same biological system using vargulin, coelenterazine, and D-luciferin substrates, respectively. We applied this triple imaging system to monitor the effect of soluble tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (sTRAIL) delivered using an adeno-associated viral vector (AAV) on brain tumors in mice. Vluc imaging showed efficient sTRAIL gene delivery to the brain, while Fluc imaging revealed a robust antiglioma therapy. Further, nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB) activation in response to sTRAIL binding to glioma cells death receptors was monitored by Gluc imaging. This work is the first demonstration of trimodal in vivo bioluminescence imaging and will have a broad applicability in many different fields including immunology, oncology, virology, and neuroscience. © 2013 Macmillan Publishers Limited All rights reserved.


Badr C.E.,Massachusetts General Hospital | Badr C.E.,Harvard University | Badr C.E.,Neuro oncology Research Group | Niers J.M.,Massachusetts General Hospital | And 13 more authors.
Gene Therapy | Year: 2011

The nuclear factor-B (NF-B) is known to be activated in many cancer types including lung, ovarian, astrocytomas, melanoma, prostate as well as glioblastoma, and has been shown to correlate with disease progression. We have cloned a novel NF-B-based reporter system (five tandem repeats of NF-B responsive genomic element (NF; 14 bp each)) to drive the expression cassette for both a fusion between the yeast cytosine deaminase and uracil phosphoribosyltransferase (CU) as a therapeutic gene and the secreted Gaussia luciferase (Gluc) as a blood reporter, separated by an internal ribosomal entry site (NF-CU-IGluc). We showed that malignant tumor cells have high expression of Gluc, which correlates to high activation of NF-B. When NF-B was further activated by tumor necrosis factor-α in these cells, we observed up to 10-fold increase in Gluc levels and therefore transgene expression in human glioma cells served to greatly enhance the sensitization of these cells to the prodrug, 5-fluorocytosine both in cultured cells and in vivo subcutaneous tumor xenograft model. This inducible system provides a tool to enhance the expression of imaging and therapeutic genes for cancer therapy. © 2011 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved.

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