Inhibition of PI3K/mTOR pathways in glioblastoma and implications for combination therapy with temozolomide

Gautam Prasad, Theo Sottero, Xiaodong Yang, Sabine Mueller, C. David James, William A. Weiss, Mei Yin Polley, Tomoko Ozawa, Mitchel S. Berger, Dana T. Aftab, Michael D. Prados, Daphne A. Haas-Kogan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

114 Scopus citations


Due to its molecular heterogeneity and infiltrative nature, glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is notoriously resistant to traditional and experimental therapeutics. To overcome these hurdles, targeted agents have been combined with conventional therapy. We evaluated the preclinical potential of a novel, orally bioavailable PBK/mTOR dual inhibitor (XL765) in in vitro and in vivo studies. In vivo serially passaged human GBM xenografts that are more genetically stable than GBM cell lines in culture were used for all experiments. Biochemical downstream changes were evaluated by immunoblot and cytotoxicity by colorimetric ATP-based assay. For in vivo experiments, human xenograft GBM 39 grown intracranially in nude mice was altered to express luciferase to monitor tumor burden by optical imaging. XL765 resulted in concentrationdependent decreases in cell viability in vitro. Cytotoxic doses resulted in specific inhibition of PI3K signaling. Combining XL765 with temozolomide (TMZ) resulted in additive toxicity in 4 of 5 xenografts. In vivo, XL765 administered by oral gavage resulted in greater than 12- fold reduction in median tumor bioluminescence compared with control (Mann-Whitney test p - 0.001) and improvement in median survival (logrank p - 0.05). TMZ alone showed a 30-fold decrease in median bioluminescence, but the combination XL765 + TMZ yielded a 140-fold reduction in median bioluminescence (Mann-Whitney test p - 0.05) with a trend toward improvement in median survival (logrank p - 0.09) compared with TMZ alone. XL765 shows activity as monotherapy and in combination with conventional therapeutics in a range of genetically diverse GBM xenografts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)384-392
Number of pages9
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2011


  • Glioma
  • PI3K/mTOR inhibitor
  • Signaling inhibitor
  • Temozolomide

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cancer Research


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