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Henry M. Smilowitz, Jakob Weissenberger, Joachim Weis, Judith D. Brown, Rachel J. O'Neill and Jean A. Laissue


The aim of this study was to develop and characterize a new orthotopic, syngeneic, transplantable mouse brain tumor model by using the cell lines Tu-9648 and Tu-2449, which were previously isolated from tumors that arose spontaneously in glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP)-v-src transgenic mice.


Striatal implantation of a 1-μl suspension of 5000 to 10,000 cells from either clone into syngeneic B6C3F1 mice resulted in tumors that were histologically identified as malignant gliomas. Prior subcutaneous inoculations with irradiated autologous cells inhibited the otherwise robust development of a microscopically infiltrating malignant glioma. Untreated mice with implanted tumor cells were killed 12 days later, when the resultant gliomas were several millimeters in diameter. Immunohistochemically, the gliomas displayed both the astroglial marker GFAP and the oncogenic form of signal transducer and activator of transcription–3 (Stat3). This form is called tyrosine-705 phosphorylated Stat3, and is found in many malignant entities, including human gliomas. Phosphorylated Stat3 was particularly prominent, not only in the nucleus but also in the plasma membrane of peripherally infiltrating glioma cells, reflecting persistent overactivation of the Janus kinase/Stat3 signal transduction pathway. The Tu-2449 cells exhibited three non-random structural chromosomal aberrations, including a deletion of the long arm of chromosome 2 and an apparently balanced translocation between chromosomes 1 and 3. The GFAP-v-src transgene was mapped to the pericentromeric region of chromosome 18.


The high rate of engraftment, the similarity to the high-grade malignant glioma of origin, and the rapid, locally invasive growth of these tumors should make this murine model useful in testing novel therapies for human malignant gliomas.

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Jan C. Buckner, Loren D. Brown, John W. Kugler, Terrence L. Cascino, James E. Krook, James A. Mailliard, Carl G. Kardinal, Loren K. Tschetter, Judith R. O'Fallon and Bernd W. Scheithauer

✓ The goal of this study was to determine the antitumor activity and toxicity of 1,3-bis(2-chloroethyl)-1-nitrosourea (BCNU) plus recombinant interferon-alpha (IFN-a) in patients with recurrent glioma. As single agents, both BCNU and IFN-α can cause tumor regression in patients with recurrent glioma. In vitro studies suggest synergy between the two agents. Thirty-five patients in whom computerized tomography (CT) or magnetic resonance (MR) evidence was obtained of progressive astrocytoma, oligoastrocytoma, or oligodendroglioma received recombinant IFN-α2a (12 × 106 U/m2 intramuscularly) on Days 1 through 3 and BCNU (150 mg/m2 intravenously) on Day 3 of each 6-week cycle. All patients had tumor progression despite radiation therapy and had received no prior chemotherapy. Response was assessed by CT or MR evidence and by neurological examination while the patients were on a regimen of stable or decreasing doses of corticosteroids. All patients could be evaluated for response and toxicity. Twenty-nine percent of the patients demonstrated objective tumor regression; 37% remained stable for more than 6 months and 25% were stable for less than 6 months. The median duration of response to IFN-α and BCNU was 9.9 months and the median survival for all patients was 13.3 months. Toxicity consisted primarily of moderate myelosuppression, venous irritation, vomiting, flulike symptoms, and transient reversible exacerbation of underlying neurological symptoms. The use of BCNU plus IFN-α is a safe, active regimen in the treatment of patients with recurrent glioma who have failed to respond to prior radiation therapy. The contribution of IFN to the antitumor activity observed in this study compared with that previously described with BCNU alone cannot be assessed from this trial.