Treatment with the PI3K inhibitor buparlisib (NVP-BKM120) suppresses the growth of established patient-derived GBM xenografts and prolongs survival in nude rats

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Abstract

Glioblastomas (GBMs) are aggressive brain tumours with a dismal prognosis, despite combined surgery, radio- and chemotherapy. Close to 90 % of all GBMs harbour a deregulated PI3K pathway, which is essential in regulating central cellular functions such as proliferation, cell growth, motility and survival. Thus, PI3K represents a potential target for molecular therapy in GBM. We investigated the anti-tumour efficacy of the PI3K inhibitor buparlisib (NVP-BKM120) in GBM cell lines in vitro and in vivo, when treatment was initiated after MRI-confirmed tumour engraftment. We found that buparlisib inhibited glioma cell proliferation in a dose dependent manner, demonstrated by MTS assay, manual cell count and BrdU incorporation. A dose dependent increase in apoptosis was observed through flow cytometric analysis. Furthermore, by immunocytochemistry and western blot, we found a dose dependent inhibition of Akt phosphorylation. Moreover, buparlisib prolonged survival of nude rats harboring human GBM xenografts in three independent studies and reduced the tumours’ volumetric increase, as determined by MRI. In addition, histological analyses of xenograft rat brains showed necrotic areas and change in tumour cell nuclei in buparlisib-treated animals. The rats receiving buparlisib maintained their weight, activity level and food- and water intake. In conclusion, buparlisib effectively inhibits glioma cell proliferation in vitro and growth of human GBM xenografts in nude rats. Moreover, the compound is well tolerated when administered at doses providing anti-tumour efficacy. Thus, buparlisib may have a future role in glioma therapy, and further studies are warranted to validate this compound for human use.

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Netland, I. A., Førde, H. E., Sleire, L., Leiss, L., Rahman, M. A., Skeie, B. S., … Goplen, D. (2016). Treatment with the PI3K inhibitor buparlisib (NVP-BKM120) suppresses the growth of established patient-derived GBM xenografts and prolongs survival in nude rats. Journal of Neuro-Oncology, 129(1), 57–66. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11060-016-2158-1

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