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Encouse B. Golden, Hee-Yeon Cho, Florence M. Hofman, Stan G. Louie, Axel H. Schönthal and Thomas C. Chen

OBJECT

Chloroquine (CQ) is a quinoline-based drug widely used for the prevention and treatment of malaria. More recent studies have provided evidence that this drug may also harbor antitumor properties, whereby CQ possesses the ability to accumulate in lysosomes and blocks the cellular process of autophagy. Therefore, the authors of this study set out to investigate whether CQ analogs, in particular clinically established antimalaria drugs, would also be able to exert antitumor properties, with a specific focus on glioma cells.

METHODS

Toward this goal, the authors treated different glioma cell lines with quinine (QN), quinacrine (QNX), mefloquine (MFQ), and hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) and investigated endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress–induced cell death, autophagy, and cell death.

RESULTS

All agents blocked cellular autophagy and exerted cytotoxic effects on drug-sensitive and drug-resistant glioma cells with varying degrees of potency (QNX > MFQ > HCQ > CQ > QN). Furthermore, all quinoline-based drugs killed glioma cells that were highly resistant to temozolomide (TMZ), the current standard of care for patients with glioma. The cytotoxic mechanism involved the induction of apoptosis and ER stress, as indicated by poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP) cleavage and CHOP/GADD153. The induction of ER stress and resulting apoptosis could be confirmed in the in vivo setting, in which tumor tissues from animals treated with quinoline-based drugs showed increased expression of CHOP/GADD153, along with elevated TUNEL staining, a measure of apoptosis.

CONCLUSIONS

Thus, the antimalarial compounds investigated in this study hold promise as a novel class of autophagy inhibitors for the treatment of newly diagnosed TMZ-sensitive and recurrent TMZ-resistant gliomas.

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Weijun Wang, Steve Swenson, Hee-Yeon Cho, Florence M. Hofman, Axel H. Schönthal and Thomas C. Chen

OBJECTIVE

Many pharmaceutical agents are highly potent but are unable to exert therapeutic activity against disorders of the central nervous system (CNS), because the blood-brain barrier (BBB) impedes their brain entry. One such agent is bortezomib (BZM), a proteasome inhibitor that is approved for the treatment of multiple myeloma. Preclinical studies established that BZM can be effective against glioblastoma (GBM), but only when the drug is delivered via catheter directly into the brain lesion, not after intravenous systemic delivery. The authors therefore explored alternative options of BZM delivery to the brain that would avoid invasive procedures and minimize systemic exposure.

METHODS

Using mouse and rat GBM models, the authors applied intranasal drug delivery, where they co-administered BZM together with NEO100, a highly purified, GMP-manufactured version of perillyl alcohol that is used in clinical trials for intranasal therapy of GBM patients.

RESULTS

The authors found that intranasal delivery of BZM combined with NEO100 significantly prolonged survival of tumor-bearing animals over those that received vehicle alone and also over those that received BZM alone or NEO100 alone. Moreover, BZM concentrations in the brain were higher after intranasal co-delivery with NEO100 as compared to delivery in the absence of NEO100.

CONCLUSIONS

This study demonstrates that intranasal delivery with a NEO100-based formulation enables noninvasive, therapeutically effective brain delivery of a pharmaceutical agent that otherwise does not efficiently cross the BBB.

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Eung Koo Yeon, Young Dae Cho, Dong Hyun Yoo, Su Hwan Lee, Hyun-Seung Kang, Jeong Eun Kim, Won-Sang Cho, Hyun Ho Choi and Moon Hee Han

OBJECTIVE

The authors conducted a study to ascertain the long-term durability of coiled aneurysms completely occluded at 36 months’ follow-up given the potential for delayed recanalization.

METHODS

In this retrospective review, the authors examined 299 patients with 339 aneurysms, all shown to be completely occluded at 36 months on follow-up images obtained between 2011 and 2013. Medical records and radiological data acquired during the extended monitoring period (mean 74.3 ± 22.5 months) were retrieved, and the authors analyzed the incidence of (including mean annual risk) and risk factors for delayed recanalization.

RESULTS

A total of 5 coiled aneurysms (1.5%) occluded completely at 36 months showed recanalization (0.46% per aneurysm-year) during the long-term surveillance period (1081.9 aneurysm-years), 2 surfacing within 60 months and 3 developing thereafter. Four showed minor recanalization, with only one instance of major recanalization. The latter involved the posterior communicating artery as an apparent de novo lesion, arising at the neck of a firmly coiled sac, and was unrelated to coil compaction or growth. Additional embolization was undertaken. In a multivariate analysis, a second embolization for a recurrent aneurysm (HR = 22.088, p = 0.003) independently correlated with delayed recanalization.

CONCLUSIONS

Almost all coiled aneurysms (98.5%) showing complete occlusion at 36 months postembolization proved to be stable during extended observation. However, recurrent aneurysms were predisposed to delayed recanalization. Given the low probability yet seriousness of delayed recanalization and the possibility of de novo aneurysm formation, careful monitoring may be still considered in this setting but at less frequent intervals beyond 36 months.

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Hyun Ho Choi, Young Dae Cho, Dong Hyun Yoo, Su Hwan Lee, Eung Koo Yeon, Hyun-Seung Kang, Won-Sang Cho, Jeong Eun Kim and Moon Hee Han

OBJECTIVE

In the presence of symmetric A1 flow, the safety and efficacy of compromising the anterior communicating artery (ACoA) during coil embolization of ACoA aneurysms has yet to be evaluated. Herein, the authors describe their experience, focusing on procedural safety.

METHODS

Between October 2012 and July 2017, 285 ACoA aneurysms with symmetric A1 flows were treated at the authors’ institution by endovascular coil embolization. Clinical and angiographic outcome data were subjected to binary logistic regression analysis.

RESULTS

ACoA compromise was chosen in the treatment of 71 aneurysms (24.9%), which were completely (n = 15) or incompletely (n = 56) compromised. In the remaining 214 lesions, the ACoA was preserved. Although 9 patients (3.2%) experienced procedure-related thromboembolisms (compromised, 4; preserved, 5), all but 1 patient (with ACoA compromise) were asymptomatic. In multivariate analysis, subarachnoid hemorrhage at presentation was the sole independent risk factor for thromboembolism (OR 15.98, p < 0.01), with ACoA compromise being statistically unrelated. In 276 aneurysms (96.8%) with follow-up of > 6 months (mean 20.9 ± 13.1 months, range 6–54 months), recanalization was confirmed in 21 (minor, 15; major, 6). A narrow (≤ 4 mm) saccular neck (p < 0.01) and ACoA compromise (p = 0.04) were independently linked to prevention of recanalization.

CONCLUSIONS

During coil embolization of ACoA aneurysms, the ACoA may be compromised without serious complications if A1 flows are symmetric. This approach may also confer some long-term protection from recanalization, serving as a valid treatment option for such lesions.

Free access

Encouse B. Golden, Hee-Yeon Cho, Ardeshir Jahanian, Florence M. Hofman, Stan G. Louie, Axel H. Schönthal and Thomas C. Chen

Object

In a recent clinical trial, patients with newly diagnosed glioblastoma multiforme benefited from chloroquine (CQ) in combination with conventional therapy (resection, temozolomide [TMZ], and radiation therapy). In the present study, the authors report the mechanism by which CQ enhances the therapeutic efficacy of TMZ to aid future studies aimed at improving this therapeutic regimen.

Methods

Using in vitro and in vivo experiments, the authors determined the mechanism by which CQ enhances TMZ cytotoxicity. They focused on the inhibition-of-autophagy mechanism of CQ by knockdown of the autophagy-associated proteins or treatment with autophagy inhibitors. This mechanism was tested using an in vivo model with subcutaneously implanted U87MG tumors from mice treated with CQ in combination with TMZ.

Results

Knockdown of the autophagy-associated proteins (GRP78 and Beclin) or treatment with the autophagy inhibitor, 3-methyl adenine (3-MA), blocked autophagosome formation and reduced CQ cytotoxicity, suggesting that autophagosome accumulation precedes CQ-induced cell death. In contrast, blocking autophagosome formation with knockdown of GRP78 or treatment with 3-MA enhanced TMZ cytotoxicity, suggesting that the autophagy pathway protects from TMZ-induced cytotoxicity. CQ in combination with TMZ significantly increased the amounts of LC3B-II (a marker for autophagosome levels), CHOP/GADD-153, and cleaved PARP (a marker for apoptosis) over those with untreated or individual drug-treated glioma cells. These molecular mechanisms seemed to take place in vivo as well. Subcutaneously implanted U87MG tumors from mice treated with CQ in combination with TMZ displayed higher levels of CHOP/GADD-153 than did untreated or individual drug-treated tumors.

Conclusions

Taken together, these results demonstrate that CQ blocks autophagy and triggers endoplasmic reticulum stress, thereby increasing the chemosensitivity of glioma cells to TMZ.

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Weijun Wang, Hee-Yeon Cho, Rachel Rosenstein-Sisson, Nagore I. Marín Ramos, Ryan Price, Kyle Hurth, Axel H. Schönthal, Florence M. Hofman and Thomas C. Chen

OBJECTIVE

Glioblastoma (GBM) is the most prevalent and the most aggressive of primary brain tumors. There is currently no effective treatment for this tumor. The proteasome inhibitor bortezomib is effective for a variety of tumors, but not for GBM. The authors' goal was to demonstrate that bortezomib can be effective in the orthotopic GBM murine model if the appropriate method of drug delivery is used. In this study the Alzet mini-osmotic pump was used to bring the drug directly to the tumor in the brain, circumventing the blood-brain barrier; thus making bortezomib an effective treatment for GBM.

METHODS

The 2 human glioma cell lines, U87 and U251, were labeled with luciferase and used in the subcutaneous and intracranial in vivo tumor models. Glioma cells were implanted subcutaneously into the right flank, or intracranially into the frontal cortex of athymic nude mice. Mice bearing intracranial glioma tumors were implanted with an Alzet mini-osmotic pump containing different doses of bortezomib. The Alzet pumps were introduced directly into the tumor bed in the brain. Survival was documented for mice with intracranial tumors.

RESULTS

Glioma cells were sensitive to bortezomib at nanomolar quantities in vitro. In the subcutaneous in vivo xenograft tumor model, bortezomib given intravenously was effective in reducing tumor progression. However, in the intracranial glioma model, bortezomib given systemically did not affect survival. By sharp contrast, animals treated with bortezomib intracranially at the tumor site exhibited significantly increased survival.

CONCLUSIONS

Bypassing the blood-brain barrier by using the osmotic pump resulted in an increase in the efficacy of bortezomib for the treatment of intracranial tumors. Thus, the intratumoral administration of bortezomib into the cranial cavity is an effective approach for glioma therapy.

Restricted access

Nagore I. Marín-Ramos, Marta Pérez-Hernández, Anson Tam, Stephen D. Swenson, Hee-Yeon Cho, Thu Zan Thein, Florence M. Hofman and Thomas C. Chen

OBJECTIVE

Glioblastoma (GBM) is the most aggressive type of brain tumor with a high rate of tumor recurrence, and it often develops resistance over time to current standard of care chemotherapy. Its highly invasive nature plays an essential role in tumor progression and recurrence. Glioma stem cells (GSCs) are a subpopulation of glioma cells highly resistant to treatments and are considered responsible for tumor recurrence.

METHODS

Patient-derived populations of GSCs were analyzed by western blot, MTT, and cytoplasmic calcium labeling to determine the cytotoxicity of NEO100. High-performance liquid chromatography was used to evaluate the levels of NEO100 in the cell culture supernatants. The effects of the compound on GSC motility were studied using Boyden chamber migration, 3D spheroid migration and invasion assays, and an mRNA expression PCR array. A RhoA activation assay, western blot, and immunofluorescence techniques were employed to confirm the signaling pathways involved. Intracranial implantation of GSCs in athymic mice was used to evaluate the effects of NEO100 in vivo on tumor progression and overall survival.

RESULTS

Here, the authors show how NEO100, a highly purified guanosine monophosphate–quality form of perillyl alcohol, is cytotoxic for different subtypes of GSCs, regardless of the mechanisms of DNA repair present. At doses similar to the IC50 (half maximal inhibitory concentration) values, NEO100 induces ER stress and activates apoptotic pathways in all GSC populations tested. At subcytotoxic doses in the micromolar range, NEO100 blocks migration and invasion of GSCs. These results correlate with a decrease in calpain-1 expression and an increase in RhoA activation, leading to enhanced contractility of the GSCs. In addition, NEO100 blocks the activation of the kinases Src, p42/44 MAPK, Akt, and Stat3, all related to cell proliferation and migration. Intranasal administration of NEO100 in mice with GSC-derived intracranial tumors led to a decrease in tumor progression and a 32% increase in overall survival. Immunostaining studies showed that NEO100 induces apoptosis and reduces GSC invasion in vivo.

CONCLUSIONS

NEO100 could have significant value targeting GSCs and could be used for GBM therapy as either monotherapy or a coadjuvant therapy during temozolomide rest cycles.