Faithful animal modelling of human glioma by using primary initiating cells and its implications for radiosensitization therapy

Guido Frosina, Jean Louis Ravetti, Renzo Corvò, Mauro Fella, Maria Luisa Garrè, Fabrizio Levrero, Diana Marcello, Daniela Marubbi, Giovanni Morana, Michele Mussap, Carlo Emanuele Neumaier, Aldo Profumo, Alessandro Raso, Francesca Rosa, Stefano Vagge, Donatella Vecchio, Antonio Verrico, Gianluigi Zona, Antonio Daga

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


It has been reported that the ATM kinase inhibitor KU60019 preferentially radiosensitizes orthotopic high grade gliomas (HGG) driven by established U87 and U1242 cell lines bearing specific TP53 mutations. We wished to determine whether those results could be extended to tumors driven by primary glioma initiating cells (GIC) that closely mimic clinical tumors. Orthotopic HGG were developed in immunodeficient non-obese diabetic-severe combined immunodeficient (NOD-SCID) mice by intracranial injection of primary GIC isolated from the adult glioblastoma COMI (acronym of patient’s name) and the pediatric anaplastic astrocytoma 239/12. Similar to the clinical tumors of origin, the orthotopic tumors COMI and 239/12 displayed different growth properties with a voluminous expansive lesion that exerted considerable mass effect on the adjacent structures and an infiltrating, gliomatosis-like growth pattern with limited compressive attitude, respectively. Significant elongations of median animal survival bearing the adult COMI tumor was observed after one KU60019 convection enhanced delivery followed by total 7.5 Gy of ionizing radiation delivered in fifteen 0.5 Gy fractions, as compared to animals treated with vehicle + ionizing radiation (105 vs 89 days; ratio: 0.847; 95% CI of ratio 0.4969 to 1.198; P:0.0417) [ARRIVE 16]. Similarly, a trend to increased median survival was observed with the radiosensitized pediatric tumor 239/12 (186 vs 167 days; ratio: 0.8978; 95% CI of ratio: 0.5352 to 1.260; P: 0.0891) [ARRIVE 16]. Our results indicate that radiosensitization by KU60019 is effective towards different orthotopic gliomas that faithfully mimic the clinical tumors and that multiple GIC-based animal models may be essential to develop novel therapeutic protocols for HGG transferable to the clinics.

Original languageEnglish
Article number14191
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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