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1.
Leukemia ; 2019 Aug 20.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31431735

RESUMO

We used hybrid capture-targeted next-generation sequencing of circulating cell-free DNA (ccfDNA) of pediatric Hodgkin lymphoma (PHL) patients to determine pathogenic mechanisms and assess the clinical utility of this method. Hodgkin-Reed/Sternberg (HRS) cell-derived single nucleotide variants, insertions/deletions, translocations and VH-DH-JH rearrangements were detected in pretherapy ccfDNA of 72 of 96 patients. Number of variants per patient ranged from 1 to 21 with allele frequencies from 0.6 to 42%. Nine translocation breakpoints were detected. Genes involved in JAK/STAT, NFkB and PI3K signaling and antigen presentation were most frequently affected. SOCS1 variants, mainly deletions, were found in most circulating tumor (ct) DNAs, and seven of the nine translocation breakpoints involved SOCS1. Analysis of VH-DH-JH rearrangements revealed an origin of PHL HRS cells from partially selected germinal center B cells. Amounts of pretherapy ctDNA were correlated with metabolic tumor volumes. Furthermore, in all ccfDNA samples of 43 patients with early response assessment quantitative qPET < 3, indicative of a favorable clinical course, ctDNA was not detectable. In contrast, in five of six patients with qPET > 3, indicative of an unfavorable clinical course, ctDNA remained detectable. ccfDNA analysis of PHL is thus a suitable approach to determine pathogenic mechanisms and monitor therapy response.

2.
Cell Death Dis ; 10(8): 571, 2019 Jul 29.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31358732

RESUMO

Deregulated cell death pathways contribute to leukemogenesis and treatment failure in B-cell precursor acute lymphoblastic leukemia (BCP-ALL). Intrinsic apoptosis signaling is regulated by different proapoptotic and antiapoptotic molecules: proapoptotic BCL-2 homology domain 3 (BH3) proteins activate prodeath molecules leading to cellular death, while antiapoptotic molecules including B-cell lymphoma 2 (BCL-2) prevent activation of prodeath proteins and counter-regulate apoptosis induction. Inhibition of these antiapoptotic regulators has become a promising strategy for anticancer treatment, but variable anticancer activities in different malignancies indicate the need for upfront identification of responsive patients. Here, we investigated the activity of the BCL-2 inhibitor venetoclax (VEN, ABT-199) in B-cell precursor acute lymphoblastic leukemia and found heterogeneous sensitivities in BCP-ALL cell lines and in a series of patient-derived primografts. To identify parameters of sensitivity and resistance, we evaluated genetic aberrations, gene-expression profiles, expression levels of apoptosis regulators, and functional apoptosis parameters analyzed by mitochondrial profiling using recombinant BH3-like peptides. Importantly, ex vivo VEN sensitivity was most accurately associated with functional BCL-2 dependence detected by BH3 profiling. Modeling clinical application of VEN in a preclinical trial in a set of individual ALL primografts, we identified that leukemia-free survival of VEN treated mice was precisely determined by functional BCL-2 dependence. Moreover, the predictive value of ex vivo measured functional BCL-2 dependence for preclinical in vivo VEN response was confirmed in an independent set of primograft ALL including T- and high risk-ALL. Thus, integrative analysis of the apoptosis signaling indicating mitochondrial addiction to BCL-2 accurately predicts antileukemia activity of VEN, robustly identifies VEN-responsive patients, and provides information for stratification and clinical guidance in future clinical applications of VEN in patients with ALL.

3.
Br J Pharmacol ; 176(18): 3681-3694, 2019 Sep.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31222722

RESUMO

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Drug repurposing represents a promising approach to safely accelerate the clinical application of therapeutics with anti-cancer activity. In this study, we examined whether inhibition of the anti-apoptotic Bcl-2 family proteins Bcl-2 and Bcl-xL enhances the biological effects of the repurposed CUSP9 regimen in an in vitro setting of glioblastoma. EXPERIMENTAL APPROACH: We applied 3-[4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl]-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide assays to assess cellular proliferation. Annexin V/propidium iodide and tetramethylrhodamine, ethyl ester staining were used to examine apoptosis. Western blotting, RT-PCR, and specific knockdown experiments using siRNA were employed to examine molecular mechanisms of action. KEY RESULTS: Bcl-2/Bcl-xL inhibition exerted synergistic anti-proliferative effects across established, primary cultured, and stem-like glioblastoma cells when combined with CUSP9 which had been reduced to only one tenth of its proposed original concentration (CUSP9-LD). The combination treatment also led to enhanced apoptosis with loss of mitochondrial membrane potential and activation of caspases. On the molecular level, CUSP9-LD counteracted ABT263-mediated up-regulation of Mcl-1. Silencing of Mcl-1 enhanced ABT263-mediated apoptosis which indicates that down-regulation of Mcl-1 is crucial for the induction of cell death by the combination treatment. CONCLUSION AND IMPLICATIONS: These data suggest that Bcl-2/Bcl-xL inhibition enhances the susceptibility of glioblastoma cells towards CUSP9, allowing dramatic dose reduction and potentially decreased toxicity when applied clinically. A clinical trial involving the original CUSP doses (CUSP9v3) is currently ongoing in our institution (NCT02770378). The Bcl-2/Bcl-xL inhibitor ABT263 is in clinical trials and might represent a valuable adjunct to the original CUSP.

4.
Haematologica ; 2019 May 09.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31073076

RESUMO

Alterations of the tumor suppressor gene TP53 are found in different cancers, in particular in carcinomas of adults. In pediatric acute lymphoblastic leukemia, TP53 mutations are infrequent but enriched at relapse. As in most cancers, mainly DNA-binding domain missense mutations are found, resulting in accumulation of mutant p53, poor therapy response, and inferior outcome. Different strategies to target mutant p53 have been developed including reactivation of p53's wild type function by the small molecule APR-246. We investigated TP53 mutations in cell lines and 62 B-cell precursor acute lymphoblastic leukemia samples and evaluated the activity of APR-246 in TP53 mutated or wild type acute lymphoblastic leukemias. We identified cases with TP53 missense mutations, high (mutant) p53 expression and insensitivity to the DNA-damaging agent doxorubicin. In TP53 mutated acute lymphoblastic leukemia, APR-246 induced apoptosis showing strong anti-leukemia activity. APR-246 restored mutant p53 to its wild type conformation, leading to pathway activation with induction of transcriptional targets and re-sensitization to genotoxic therapy in vitro and in vivo. In addition, induction of oxidative stress contributed to APR-246 mediated cell death. In a pre-clinical model of patient-derived TP53 mutant acute lymphoblastic leukemia, APR-246 reduced leukemia burden and strongly synergized with the genotoxic agent doxorubicin leading to superior leukemia-free survival in vivo. Thus, targeting mutant p53 by APR-246 restoring its tumor suppressive function seems to be an effective therapeutic strategy for this high-risk group of TP53 mutant acute lymphoblastic leukemia.

5.
Sci Rep ; 9(1): 7992, 2019 May 29.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31142770

RESUMO

Myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs) expand during inflammation and exhibit immunomodulatory functions on innate and adaptive immunity. However, their impact on trauma-induced immune responses, characterized by an early pro-inflammatory phase and dysregulated adaptive immunity involving lymphocyte apoptosis, exhaustion and unresponsiveness is less clear. Therefore, we adoptively transferred in vitro-generated MDSCs shortly before experimental blunt chest trauma (TxT). MDSCs preferentially homed into spleen and liver, but were undetectable in the injured lung, although pro-inflammatory mediators transiently increased in the bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL). Surprisingly, MDSC treatment strongly increased splenocyte numbers, however, without altering the percentage of splenic leukocyte populations. T cells of MDSC-treated TxT mice exhibited an activated phenotype characterized by expression of activation markers and elevated proliferative capacity in vitro, which was not accompanied by up-regulated exhaustion markers or unresponsiveness towards in vitro activation. Most importantly, also T cell expansion after staphylococcal enterotoxin B (SEB) stimulation in vivo was unchanged between MDSC-treated or untreated mice. After MDSC transfer, T cells preferentially exhibited a Th1 phenotype, a prerequisite to circumvent post-traumatic infectious complications. Our findings reveal a totally unexpected immunostimulatory role of adoptively transferred MDSCs in TxT and might offer options to interfere with post-traumatic malfunction of the adaptive immune response.

6.
Clin Immunol ; 203: 125-133, 2019 Jun.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31028919

RESUMO

Intestinal epithelial cells (IECs) form a fundamental mucosal barrier and actively participate in tolerance and immunity against intestinal contents. Major histocompatibility complex class II (MHC II) and invariant chain (Ii) molecules are essential for adaptive immune response. MHC II deficiency often presents with gastrointestinal disorders. Intestinal biopsy samples revealed an absence of HLA-DR, Ii, and local immunoglobulins in both hematopoietic immune cells and IECs accompanied by a lack of faecal sIgA. After successful hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) absent HLA-DR and Ii expression persisted in IECs and faecal stool analysis indicated inflammation and high microbial activity. We describe multifaceted disturbance of adaptive mucosal immunity in MHC II deficient patients suffering from enteropathy. HLA-DR and Ii expression on enterocytes is not restored by HSCT. This may account for increased susceptibility to enteric infections and intestinal inflammation leading to prolonged enteropathy reported in MHC II deficient patients.

7.
J Allergy Clin Immunol ; 144(2): 574-583.e5, 2019 Aug.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30872117

RESUMO

BACKGROUND: The tumor TNF receptor family member 4-1BB (CD137) is encoded by TNFRSF9 and expressed on activated T cells. 4-1BB provides a costimulatory signal that enhances CD8+ T-cell survival, cytotoxicity, and mitochondrial activity, thereby promoting immunity against viruses and tumors. The ligand for 4-1BB is expressed on antigen-presenting cells and EBV-transformed B cells. OBJECTIVE: We investigated the genetic basis of recurrent sinopulmonary infections, persistent EBV viremia, and EBV-induced lymphoproliferation in 2 unrelated patients. METHODS: Whole-exome sequencing, immunoblotting, immunophenotyping, and in vitro assays of lymphocyte and mitochondrial function were performed. RESULTS: The 2 patients shared a homozygous G109S missense mutation in 4-1BB that abolished protein expression and ligand binding. The patients' CD8+ T cells had reduced proliferation, impaired expression of IFN-γ and perforin, and diminished cytotoxicity against allogeneic and HLA-matched EBV-B cells. Mitochondrial biogenesis, membrane potential, and function were significantly reduced in the patients' activated T cells. An inhibitory antibody against 4-1BB recapitulated the patients' defective CD8+ T-cell activation and cytotoxicity against EBV-infected B cells in vitro. CONCLUSION: This novel immunodeficiency demonstrates the critical role of 4-1BB costimulation in host immunity against EBV infection.

8.
Cell Oncol (Dordr) ; 42(3): 287-301, 2019 Jun.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30859392

RESUMO

PURPOSE: Anti-apoptotic and pro-migratory phenotypes are hallmarks of neoplastic diseases, including primary brain malignancies. In this work, we examined whether reprogramming of the apoptotic and migratory machineries through a multi-targeting approach would induce enhanced cell death and enhanced inhibition of the migratory capacity of glioblastoma cells. METHODS: Preclinical testing and molecular analyses of combined inhibition of Bcl-2/Bcl-xL and RAC1 were performed in established, primary cultured and stem-like glioblastoma cell systems. RESULTS: We found that the combined inhibition of Bcl-2/Bcl-xL and RAC1 resulted in synergistic pro-apoptotic and anti-migratory effects in a broad range of different glioblastoma cells. At the molecular level, we found that RAC1 inhibition led to a decreased expression of the deubiquitinase Usp9X, followed by a decreased stability of Mcl-1. We also found that the combined inhibition led to a significantly decreased migratory activity and that tumor formation of glioblastoma cells on chorion allantoic membranes of chicken embryos was markedly impaired following the combined inhibition. CONCLUSIONS: Our data indicate that concomitant inhibition of RAC1 and Bcl-2/Bcl-xL induces pro-apoptotic and anti-migratory glioblastoma phenotypes as well as synergistic anti-neoplastic activities. The clinical efficacy of this inhibitory therapeutic strategy warrants further evaluation.

9.
Blood Adv ; 3(6): 862-868, 2019 Mar 26.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30885997

RESUMO

Osteopetrosis (OP) is a rare disease caused by defective osteoclast differentiation or function. Hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) is the only curative treatment available in the infantile "malignant" form of OP. Improved clinical and genetic diagnosis of OP has seen the emergence of a cohort of patients with less severe and heterogeneous clinical presentations. This intermediate form of OP does not call for urgent intervention, but patients accumulate debilitating skeletal complications over years and decades, which are severe enough to require curative treatment and may also require intermittent transfusion of blood products. Here we present data from 7 patients with intermediate OP caused by mutations in TCIRG1 (n = 2), CLCN7 (n = 2), RANK (n = 1), SNX10 (n = 1), and CA2 (n = 1), who were transplanted between the ages of 5 to 30 years (mean, 15; median, 12). Donors were matched siblings or family (n = 4), matched unrelated (n = 2), or HLA haploidentical family donors (n = 1). Conditioning was fludarabine and treosulfan based. All 6 patients transplanted from matched donors are currently alive with a follow-up period between 1 and 8 years at time of publication (median, 4 years) and have demonstrated a significant improvement in symptoms and quality of life. Patients with intermediate OP should be considered for HSCT.

11.
Oncol Lett ; 16(5): 6181-6187, 2018 Nov.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30344758

RESUMO

Glioblastoma is the most aggressive tumor of the central nervous system and is manifested by diffuse invasion of glioblastoma stem cells into the healthy tissue, chemoresistance and recurrence. Despite aggressive therapy, consisting of maximal surgical resection, radiotherapy and chemotherapy with temozolomide (Temodal®), life expectancy of patients with glioblastoma is typically less than 15 months. In general, natural isothiocyanates isolated from plants of the Cruciferae family are selectively cytotoxic to tumor cells. It has been demonstrated previously that diisothiocyanate-derived mercapturic acids are highly cytotoxic to colon cancer cells. In the present study, the application of diisothiocyanate-derived mercapturic acids led to a decrease in the viability of an established glioblastoma cell line, primary patient-derived sphere-cultured stem cell-enriched cell populations (SCs), and cells differentiated from SCs. Consequently, targeting glioblastoma cells by diisothiocyanate-derived mercapturic acids is a promising approach to restrict tumor cell growth and may be a novel therapeutic intervention for the treatment of glioblastoma.

12.
Mol Cell Pediatr ; 5(1): 6, 2018 Aug 31.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30171420

RESUMO

Outcome in treatment of childhood cancers has improved dramatically since the 1970s. This success was largely achieved by the implementation of cooperative clinical research trial groups that standardized and developed treatment of childhood cancer. Nevertheless, outcome in certain types of malignancies is still unfavorable. Intensification of conventional chemotherapy and radiotherapy improved outcome only marginally at the cost of acute and long-term side effects. Hence, it is necessary to develop targeted therapy strategies.Here, we review the developments and perspectives in precision medicine in pediatric oncology with a special focus on targeted drug therapies like kinase inhibitors and inducers of apoptosis, the impact of cancer genome sequencing and immunotherapy.

13.
Int J Oncol ; 53(5): 1881-1896, 2018 Nov.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30132519

RESUMO

Glioblastoma, the most common primary brain tumour, is also considered one of the most lethal cancers per se. It is highly refractory to therapeutic intervention, as highlighted by the mean patient survival of only 15 months, despite an aggressive treatment approach, consisting of maximal safe surgical resection, followed by radio- and chemotherapy. Radiotherapy, in particular, can have effects on the surviving fractions of tumour cells, which are considered adverse to the desired clinical outcome: It can induce increased cellular proliferation, as well as enhanced invasion. In this study, we established that differentiated glioblastoma cells alter their DNA repair response following repeated exposure to radiation and, therefore, high single-dose irradiation (SD-IR) is not a good surrogate marker for fractionated dose irradiation (FD-IR), as used in clinical practice. Integrating irradiation into a combination therapy approach, we then investigated whether the pharmacological inhibition of PI3K signalling, the most abundantly activated survival cascade in glioblastoma, enhances the efficacy of radiotherapy. Of note, treatment with GDC-0941, which blocks PI3K-mediated signalling, did not enhance cell death upon irradiation, but both treatment modalities functioned synergistically to reduce the total cell number. Furthermore, GDC-0941 not only prevented the radiation-induced increase in the motility of the differentiated cells, but further reduced their speed below that of untreated cells. Therefore, combining radiotherapy with the pharmacological inhibition of PI3K signalling is a potentially promising approach for the treatment of glioblastoma, as it can reduce the unwanted effects on the surviving fraction of tumour cells.

15.
Crit Rev Oncog ; 23(1-2): 119-138, 2018.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-29953371

RESUMO

The use of radiation is an essential part of both modern cancer diagnostic assessment and treatment. Next-generation imaging devices create 3D visualizations, allowing for better diagnoses and improved planning of precision treatment. This is particularly important for primary brain cancers such as diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma or the most common primary brain tumor, glioblastoma, because radiotherapy is often the only treatment modality that offers a significant improvement in survival and quality of life. In this review, we give an overview of the different imaging techniques and the historic role of radiotherapy and its place in modern cancer therapy. Finally, we discuss three key areas of risks associated with the use of ionizing radiation: (1) brain tumor induction mainly as a consequence of the diagnostic use of radiation; (2) cognitive decline as a consequence of treating childhood brain tumors as an example of long term consequences often neglected in favor of highlighting secondary primary cancers; and (3) pro-proliferative and pro-invasive alterations that occur in tumor cells that survive radiotherapy. Throughout the discussion, we highlight areas of potential future research.

16.
Clin Cancer Res ; 24(22): 5772-5783, 2018 Nov 15.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-29925504

RESUMO

Purpose: To investigate whether lactate dehydrogenase A (LDHA), an important component of the LDH tetramer crucial for aerobic glycolysis, is associated with patient outcome and constitutes a therapeutic target in neuroblastoma (NB).Experimental Design: Expression of LDHA mRNA and protein was determined in 709 and 110 NB patient samples, respectively, and correlated with survival and risk factors. LDHA and LDHB were depleted in human NB cell lines by CRISPR/Cas9 and shRNA, respectively, and aerobic glycolysis, clonogenicity, and tumorigenicity were determined. Expression of LDHA in relation to MYCN was measured in NB cell lines and in the TH-MYCN NB mouse model.Results: Expression of LDHA, both on the mRNA and the protein level, was significantly and independently associated with decreased patient survival. Predominant cytoplasmic localization of LDHA protein was associated with poor outcome. Amplification and expression of MYCN did not correlate with expression of LDHA in NB cell lines or TH-MYCN mice, respectively. Knockout of LDHA inhibited clonogenicity, tumorigenicity, and tumor growth without abolishing LDH activity or significantly decreasing aerobic glycolysis. Concomitant depletion of LDHA and the isoform LDHB ablated clonogenicity while not abrogating LDH activity or decreasing aerobic glycolysis. The isoform LDHC was not expressed.Conclusions: High expression of LDHA is independently associated with outcome of NB, and NB cells can be inhibited by depletion of LDHA or LDHB. This inhibition appears to be unrelated to LDH activity and aerobic glycolysis. Thus, investigations of inhibitory mechanisms beyond attenuation of aerobic glycolysis are warranted, both in NB and normal cells. Clin Cancer Res; 24(22); 5772-83. ©2018 AACR.

17.
Blood ; 132(5): 469-483, 2018 Aug 02.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-29891534

RESUMO

Chuvash polycythemia is an autosomal recessive form of erythrocytosis associated with a homozygous p.Arg200Trp mutation in the von Hippel-Lindau (VHL) gene. Since this discovery, additional VHL mutations have been identified in patients with congenital erythrocytosis, in a homozygous or compound-heterozygous state. VHL is a major tumor suppressor gene, mutations in which were first described in patients presenting with VHL disease, which is characterized by the development of highly vascularized tumors. Here, we identify a new VHL cryptic exon (termed E1') deep in intron 1 that is naturally expressed in many tissues. More importantly, we identify mutations in E1' in 7 families with erythrocytosis (1 homozygous case and 6 compound-heterozygous cases with a mutation in E1' in addition to a mutation in VHL coding sequences) and in 1 large family with typical VHL disease but without any alteration in the other VHL exons. In this study, we show that the mutations induced a dysregulation of VHL splicing with excessive retention of E1' and were associated with a downregulation of VHL protein expression. In addition, we demonstrate a pathogenic role for synonymous mutations in VHL exon 2 that altered splicing through E2-skipping in 5 families with erythrocytosis or VHL disease. In all the studied cases, the mutations differentially affected splicing, correlating with phenotype severity. This study demonstrates that cryptic exon retention and exon skipping are new VHL alterations and reveals a novel complex splicing regulation of the VHL gene. These findings open new avenues for diagnosis and research regarding the VHL-related hypoxia-signaling pathway.

18.
Oncolytic Virother ; 7: 37-41, 2018.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-29750140

RESUMO

Background: Attenuated oncolytic measles virus (OMV) is a promising antitumor agent in early-phase clinical trials. However, pre-existing immunity against measles might be a hurdle for OMV therapy. Methods: OMV was inactivated with short-wavelength ultraviolet light (UV-C). Loss of replication and oncolytic activity of UV-inactivated OMV were confirmed by tissue culture infective dose 50 (TCID50) assay using Vero cells and by flow cytometry using Jurkat cells. An enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay was performed to verify that UV-inactivated OMV remained antigenic. Different doses of UV-inactivated OMV were pre-cultured in media supplemented with measles immune serum. The mixture was transferred to Jurkat cells and active OMV was added. Active OMV-induced death of Jurkat cells was monitored by flow cytometry. Results: UV-inactivation abrogates OMV replication while maintaining its antigenicity. UV-inactivated OMV sequesters pre-existing anti-MV antibodies in Jurkat cell culture, thereby protecting active OMV from neutralization and preserving oncolytic activity. Conclusion: We prove the principle that a non-replicating OMV can serve as a "decoy" for neutralizing anti-MV antibodies, thereby allowing antitumor activity of OMV.

19.
Blood ; 131(26): 2929-2942, 2018 Jun 28.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-29622548

RESUMO

The FOXO1 transcription factor plays an essential role in the regulation of proliferation and survival programs at early stages of B-cell differentiation. Here, we show that tightly regulated FOXO1 activity is essential for maintenance of B-cell precursor acute lymphoblastic leukemia (BCP-ALL). Genetic and pharmacological inactivation of FOXO1 in BCP-ALL cell lines produced a strong antileukemic effect associated with CCND3 downregulation. Moreover, we demonstrated that CCND3 expression is critical for BCP-ALL survival and that overexpression of CCND3 protected BCP-ALL cell lines from growth arrest and apoptosis induced by FOXO1 inactivation. Most importantly, pharmacological inhibition of FOXO1 showed antileukemia activity on several primary, patient-derived, pediatric ALL xenografts with effective leukemia reduction in the hematopoietic, lymphoid, and central nervous system organ compartments, ultimately leading to prolonged survival without leukemia reoccurrence in a preclinical in vivo model of BCP-ALL. These results suggest that repression of FOXO1 might be a feasible approach for the treatment of BCP-ALL.

20.
Sci Rep ; 8(1): 5527, 2018 Apr 03.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-29615749

RESUMO

Due to the highly invasive nature of Glioblastoma (GB), complete surgical resection is not feasible, while motile tumour cells are often associated with several specific brain structures that enhance treatment-resistance. Here, we investigate the therapeutic potential of Disulfiram and Carbenoxolone, that inhibit two distinct interactions between GB and the brain tissue microenvironment: stress-induced cell-matrix adhesion and gap junction mediated cell-cell communication, respectively. Increase in cell numbers of tumour-initiating cells, which are cultured in suspension as cell clusters, and adherent differentiated cells can be blocked to a similar extent by Carbenoxolone, as both cell populations form gap junctions, but the adherent differentiated cells are much more sensitive to Disulfiram treatment, which - via modulation of NF-κB signalling - interferes with cell-substrate adhesion. Interestingly, inducing adhesion in tumour-initiating cells without differentiating them does not sensitize for Disulfiram. Importantly, combining Disulfiram, Carbenoxolone and the standard chemotherapeutic drug Temozolomide reduces tumour size in an orthotopic mouse model. Isolating GB cells from their direct environment within the brain represents an important addition to current therapeutic approaches. The blockage of cellular interactions via the clinically relevant substances Disulfiram and Carbenoxolone, has distinct effects on different cell populations within a tumour, potentially reducing motility and/or resistance to apoptosis.

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