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Toward a noncytotoxic glioblastoma therapy: blocking MCP-1 with the MTZ Regimen

Authors Salacz M, Kast R, Saki N, Brüning A, Karpel-Massler G, Halatsch M

Received 12 November 2015

Accepted for publication 4 February 2016

Published 27 April 2016 Volume 2016:9 Pages 2535—2545


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Faris Farassati

Michael E Salacz,1,2 Richard E Kast,3 Najmaldin Saki,4 Ansgar Brüning,5 Georg Karpel-Massler,6 Marc-Eric Halatsch6

1Department of Internal Medicine, 2Department of Neurosurgery, University of Kansas, Kansas City, KS, USA; 3IIAIGC Study Center, Burlington, VT, USA; 4Health Research Institute, Research Center of Thalassemia and Hemoglobinopathy, Ahvaz Jundishapur University of Medical Sciences, Ahvaz, Iran; 5Molecular Biology Laboratory, University Hospital Munich, Munich, Germany; 6Department of Neurosurgery, University of Ulm, Ulm, Germany

: To improve the prognosis of glioblastoma, we developed an adjuvant treatment directed to a neglected aspect of glioblastoma growth, the contribution of nonmalignant monocyte lineage cells (MLCs) (monocyte, macrophage, microglia, dendritic cells) that infiltrated a main tumor mass. These nonmalignant cells contribute to glioblastoma growth and tumor homeostasis. MLCs comprise of approximately 10%–30% of glioblastoma by volume. After integration into the tumor mass, these become polarized toward an M2 immunosuppressive, pro-angiogenic phenotype that promotes continued tumor growth. Glioblastoma cells initiate and promote this process by synthesizing 13 kDa MCP-1 that attracts circulating monocytes to the tumor. Infiltrating monocytes, after polarizing toward an M2 phenotype, synthesize more MCP-1, forming an amplification loop. Three noncytotoxic drugs, an antibiotic – minocycline, an antihypertensive drug – telmisartan, and a bisphosphonate – zoledronic acid, have ancillary attributes of MCP-1 synthesis inhibition and could be re-purposed, singly or in combination, to inhibit or reverse MLC-mediated immunosuppression, angiogenesis, and other growth-enhancing aspects. Minocycline, telmisartan, and zoledronic acid – the MTZ Regimen – have low-toxicity profiles and could be added to standard radiotherapy and temozolomide. Re-purposing older drugs has advantages of established safety and low drug cost. Four core observations support this approach: 1) malignant glioblastoma cells require a reciprocal trophic relationship with nonmalignant macrophages or microglia to thrive; 2) glioblastoma cells secrete MCP-1 to start the cycle, attracting MLCs, which subsequently also secrete MCP-1 perpetuating the recruitment cycle; 3) increasing cytokine levels in the tumor environment generate further immunosuppression and tumor growth; and 4) MTZ regimen may impede MCP-1-driven processes, thereby interfering with glioblastoma growth.

Keywords: cognition-sparing, high-grade glioma, immunosuppression, macrophage, microglia, monocyte

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