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Metronomic Doses of Temozolomide Enhance the Efficacy of Carbon Nanotube CpG Immunotherapy in an Invasive Glioma Model

posted on 01.02.2016, 23:50 by Mao Ouyang, Ethan E. White, Hui Ren, Qin Guo, Ian Zhang, Hang Gao, Song Yanyan, Xuebo Chen, Yiming Weng, Anna Da Fonseca, Sunny Shah, Edwin R. Manuel, Leying Zhang, Steven L. Vonderfecht, Darya Alizadeh, Jacob M. Berlin, Behnam Badie

Even when treated with aggressive current therapies, most patients with glioblastoma survive less than two years. Rapid tumor growth, an invasive nature, and the blood-brain barrier, which limits the penetration of large molecules into the brain, all contribute to the poor tumor response associated with conventional therapies. Immunotherapy has emerged as a therapeutic approach that may overcome these challenges. We recently reported that single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs) can be used to dramatically increase the immunotherapeutic efficacy of CpG oligonucleotides in a mouse model of glioma. Following implantation in the mouse brain, the tumor cell line used in these previous studies (GL261) tends to form a spherical tumor with limited invasion into healthy brain. In order to evaluate SWCNT/CpG therapy under more clinically-relevant conditions, here we report the treatment of a more invasive mouse glioma model (K-Luc) that better recapitulates human disease. In addition, a CpG sequence previously tested in humans was used to formulate the SWCNT/CpG which was combined with temozolomide, the standard of care chemotherapy for glioblastoma patients. We found that, following two intracranial administrations, SWCNT/CpG is well-tolerated and improves the survival of mice bearing invasive gliomas. Interestingly, the efficacy of SWCNT/CpG was enhanced when combined with temozolomide. This enhanced anti-tumor efficacy was correlated to an increase of tumor-specific cytotoxic activity in splenocytes. These results reinforce the emerging understanding that immunotherapy can be enhanced by combining it with chemotherapy and support the continued development of SWCNT/CpG.