Diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG) is an incurable tumor that arises in the brainstem of children. To date there is not a single approved drug to effectively treat these tumors and thus novel therapies are desperately needed. Recent studies suggest that a significant fraction of these tumors contain alterations in cell cycle regulatory genes including amplification of the D-type cyclins and CDK4/6, and less commonly, loss of Ink4a-ARF leading to aberrant cell proliferation. In this study, we evaluated the therapeutic approach of targeting the cyclin-CDK-Retinoblastoma (Rb) pathway in a genetically engineered PDGF-B-driven brainstem glioma (BSG) mouse model. We found that PD-0332991 (PD), a CDK4/6 inhibitor, induces cell-cycle arrest in our PDGF-B; Ink4a-ARF deficient model both in vitro and in vivo. By contrast, the PDGF-B; p53 deficient model was mostly resistant to treatment with PD. We noted that a 7-day treatment course with PD significantly prolonged survival by 12% in the PDGF-B; Ink4a-ARF deficient BSG model. Furthermore, a single dose of 10 Gy radiation therapy (RT) followed by 7 days of treatment with PD increased the survival by 19% in comparison to RT alone. These findings provide the rationale for evaluating PD in children with Ink4a-ARF deficient gliomas.
Barton, K. L., Misuraca, K., Cordero, F., Dobrikova, E., Min, H. D., Gromeier, M., … Becher, O. J. (2013). PD-0332991, a CDK4/6 Inhibitor, Significantly Prolongs Survival in a Genetically Engineered Mouse Model of Brainstem Glioma. PLoS ONE, 8(10). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0077639