Combined treatment of AT101 and demethoxycurcumin yields an enhanced anti-proliferative effect in human primary glioblastoma cells.
J Cancer Res Clin Oncol. 2019 Dec 16. Epub 2019 Dec 16. PMID: 31844979
PURPOSE: Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is a poorly curable disease due to its profound chemoresistance. Despite recent advances in surgery, radiotherapy and chemotherapy, the efficient treatment of GBMs is still a clinical challenge. Beside others, AT101, the R-(-) enantiomer of gossypol, and demethoxycurcumin (DMC), a curcumin-related demethoxy compound derived from Curcuma longa, were considered as possible alternative drugs for GBM therapy.
METHODS: Using different human primary GBM cell cultures in a long-term stimulation in vitro model, the cytotoxic and anti-proliferative effects of single and combined treatment with 5 µM AT101 and 5 µM or 10 µM DMC were investigated. Furthermore, western blots on pAkt and pp44/42 as well as JC-1 staining and real-time RT-PCR were performed to understand the influence of the treatment at the molecular and gene level.
RESULTS: Due to enhanced anti-proliferative effects, we showed that combined therapy with both drugs was superior to a single treatment with AT101 or DMC. Here, by determination of the combination index, a synergism of the combined drugs was detectable. Phosphorylation and thereby activation of the kinases p44/42 and Akt, which are involved in proliferation and survival processes, were inhibited, the mitochondrial membrane potential of the GBM cells was altered, and genes involved in dormancy-associated processes were regulated by the combined treatment strategy.
CONCLUSION: Combined treatment with different drugs might be an option to efficiently overcome chemoresistance of GBM cells in a long-term treatment strategy.