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  • Author or Editor: Rudolf Fahlbusch x
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Uwe M. H. Schrell, Stefan Gauer, Franklin Kiesewetter, Andreas Bickel, Jürgen Hren, Eric F. Adams and Rudolf Fahlbusch

✓ The growth of human cerebral meningiomas depends on various growth factors, including epidermal growth factor (EGF), transforming growth factor (TGF)-α and TGF-β, platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF)-BB, insulin-like growth factor (IGF)-I and IGF-II, and acidic and basic fibroblast growth factors. The latter three have been shown to form autocrine loops that are thought to be a major component of uncontrolled growth in meningioma tissue. Suramin is known to prevent binding of a variety of growth factors to their receptors in mammalian tissue, thus abolishing para- and/or autocrine-mediated cell growth. The authors therefore tested the effect of suramin on the proliferation of cultured human meningioma cells.

Suramin (10−5 to 10−4 M) significantly inhibited the growth of meningioma cells in culture. The maximum effect observed was with the higher dose (10−4 M), which resulted in a 40% to 70% reduction in cellular proliferation. This effect was observed in all 15 tumor samples studied and was confirmed by [3H]thymidine uptake. In studies using DNA flow cytometry, suramin inhibited meningioma cell proliferation in five tumor samples by arresting cells in the S and G2/M phases of the cell cycle. Growth factor (EGF, IGF-I, and PDGF-BB)—induced cell proliferation was completely abolished in five tumor samples when 10−4 M suramin was applied to meningioma cells. Western blot analysis of three tumor samples showed that the intracellular PDGF-BB content of meningioma cells was significantly reduced after treating the cells with 10−4 M suramin. Binding of iodinated growth factors (that is, [125I]EGF, [125I]IGF-I, and [125I]PDGF-BB) to their receptor sites was prevented by suramin in a dose-dependent manner in 10 meningioma membrane fractions. Lowering of the intracellular PDGF content and prevention of extracellular growth factor receptor binding demonstrates that suramin disrupts autocrine loops and paracrine growth stimulation in meningioma tissue.

These data provide evidence that growth of cerebral meningiomas in culture is strongly inhibited by suramin at a concentration of 10−4 M. Suramin acts as a scavenger neutralizing exogenous growth factors; thus it can interrupt autocrine loops and paracrine stimulation of human meningioma cell growth. The evidence favors suramin as a therapeutic option for controlling meningioma proliferation in patients with inoperable and recurrent high-grade meningiomas.