RARE-08_Dannielle Upton


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Dannielle Upton1, Santosh Valvi1, Jie Liu1, Nicole Yeung1, Sandra George1, Caitlin Ung1, Aaminah Khan1, Laura Franshaw1, Anahid Ehteda1, Han Shen1, Isabella Orienti2, Giovanna Farruggia2, Patrick Reynolds3, Maria Tsoli1, David Ziegler1,4;
1Children’s Cancer Institute, Lowy Cancer Research Centre, University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW, Australia. 2Alma Mater Studiorum University of Bologna, Department of Pharmacy and Biotechnology, Bologna, Italy. 3Texas Tech University, TX, USA. 4Kid’s Cancer Centre, Sydney Children’s Hospital, Randwick, NSW, Australia

Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Gliomas (DIPGs) are the most devastating of all brain tumors. There are no effective treatments, hence almost all children will die of their tumor within 12-months. There is an urgent need for novel effective therapies for this aggressive tumor. We performed a high-throughput drug screen with over 3,570 biologically active, clinically approved compounds against a panel of neurosphere-forming DIPG cells. We identified 7 compounds- auranofin, fenretinide, ivermectin, lanatoside, parthenolide, SAHA and mefloquine- that were confirmed to have potent anti-tumor activity against a panel of DIPG-neurospheres, with minimal effect on normal cells. Using cytotoxicity and clonogenic assays, we found that these drugs were able to inhibit DIPG-neurosphere proliferation and colony formation in vitro. To determine whether the in vitro efficacy could be replicated in vivo, we tested the activity of each of these compounds in an orthotopic DIPG model. Of the agents tested, fenretinide, auranofin and SAHA were the most active anti-tumor agents, significantly enhancing the survival of tumor bearing animals. Mechanistic studies showed fenretinide enhancing apoptotic cell death of DIPG cells via inhibition of PDGFRa transcription and downregulation of the PI3K/AKT/MTOR pathway. We therefore examined the therapeutic efficacy of fenretinide using a second orthotopic model with PDGFRa amplification. We used two different fenretinide formulations which were found to enhance survival. Fenretinide is clinically available with safety data in children. Validation of the activity of Fenretinide in PDGFRa-amplified or overexpressed DIPGs will lead to the development of a clinical trial, allowing the advancement of fenretinide as potentially the first active therapy for DIPG.

Duration: 05:01

Posted: Sunday, June 6, 2021

Video tags: 2021 SNO Pediatric Meeting