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Robert G. Selker

✓ Fifteen dogs were subjected to suboccipital craniectomy and cervical laminectomy for the purpose of irrigating the spinal cord and floor of the fourth ventricle with iced saline solution. No significant respiratory or cardiovascular dysfunction was noted. It is believed that this technique may be of value in reversing traumatic edema in higher centers of the central nervous system, and that well-maintained levels of oxygen tension as measured peripherally are beneficial to any insult of the central nervous system.

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Jack E. McCallum, Edward Brand and Robert G. Selker

✓ A case of osteomyelitis of the skull in a child with chronic granulomatous disease is presented and the diagnosis and treatment discussed.

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Alvin D. Greenberg, James H. Scatliff, Robert G. Selker and Mark D. Marshall

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J. William Bookwalter III, Robert G. Selker, Lewis Schiffer, Margaret Randall, Debra Iannuzzi and Matthew Kristofik

✓ In a review of 38 glioblastoma patients for whom fresh tissue kinetic data were available before any therapy was instituted, no correlation between the labeling index and survival time could be statistically determined. This relationship seems entirely consistent with the published theoretical determinants of tumor behavior: that is, altered ability for growth arrest and differentiation, constantly evolving mutant sublines, genetic instability, and an ever-changing metabolic and vascular environment.

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Ian F. Pollack, Margaret S. Randall, Matthew P. Kristofik, Robert H. Kelly, Robert G. Selker and Frank T. Vertosick Jr.

✓ The use of a serum-free culture system for assessing the growth factor responsiveness of malignant glial cells is described. The mitogenic properties of epidermal growth factor (EGF) and platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF) were examined in three human malignant glioma cell lines (T98G, U87, and U138). Each of the three had high-affinity EGF receptors and all responded in a dose-dependent fashion to physiological concentrations of EGF. These cell lines also showed a pronounced mitogenic response to PDGF which equaled or exceeded that achieved with EGF. Simultaneous stimulation with both factors produced an additive response, which approximated that obtained in medium supplemented with 10% fetal calf serum. The authors conclude that functional EGF and PDGF receptors were present in the human malignant glial tumors studied. The response of the human glioma lines to these growth factors in many respects parallels the response seen in fetal astrocytes tested under similar conditions. In contrast, the behavior of two chemically induced rat gliomas (9L and C6) differed significantly from that seen in the human lines, suggesting that the rat lines may not be entirely acceptable as models for studying the growth characteristics of human malignant glial tumors.

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Ian F. Pollack, Margaret S. Randall, Matthew P. Kristofik, Robert H. Kelly, Robert G. Selker and Frank T. Vertosick Jr.

✓ The proliferation of many nonglial tumors in vitro depends on the presence of nanomolar concentrations of one or more growth factors. To define the growth factor requirements of malignant glial tumors, the authors examined the response properties of four low-passage human malignant glioma lines to the following mitogens: epidermal growth factor (EGF), acidic and basic fibroblast growth factors (FGF's), insulin-like growth factor I (IGF-1), nerve growth factor (NGF), platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF), 12-0-tetradecanoyl-13-phorbol acetate (TPA), and serum. Each of the tumors showed increased deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) synthesis (assessed by acid-precipitable [3H]-thymidine incorporation) in response to PDGF with a maximum effect at 50 ng/ml. Three tumors responded to EGF, three to IGF-I, two to acidic FGF, two to basic FGF, and two to TPA with maximum effects at 10, 50, 1, 1, and 10 ng/ml, respectively. None of the tumors responded to NGF. In the responsive tumors, optimum concentrations of EGF, IGF, TPA, acidic FGF, and basic FGF induced, at most, a two- to fourfold increase in [3H]-thymidine incorporation, which was only 30% to 50% of the response seen in 10% serum. In contrast, PDGF increased DNA synthesis eight- to 10-fold, equaling the effect of 10% serum. Measurements of cell proliferation also demonstrated a significant response to PDGF in each of the tumors. Appropriate concentrations of an anti-PDGF neutralizing antibody inhibited baseline DNA synthesis and proliferation in the absence of added growth factors, suggesting the possible role of PDGF in autocrine stimulation of these cells. However, this antibody produced only slight inhibition of seruminduced mitogenesis. Trapidil, an agent reported to inhibit the effects of PDGF, and polymyxin B, an inhibitor of protein kinase C, strongly inhibited baseline as well as PDGF- and serum-induced mitogenesis. It is concluded that, in the malignant gliomas studied, PDGF may be acting as a dominant mitogen to enhance DNA synthesis, and may function in autocrine stimulation. However, other factors contained in serum can also contribute to cell division.

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Immunobiology of primary intracranial tumors

Part 10: Therapeutic efficacy of interferon in the treatment of recurrent gliomas

M. Stephen Mahaley Jr., Mary B. Urso, Robert A. Whaley, Maxine Blue, Thomas E. Williams, Alfred Guaspari and Robert G. Selker

✓ Human lymphoblastoid alpha-interferon was administered intravenously or intramuscularly to 19 patients with recurrent gliomas. Each patient had previously undergone surgery and radiation therapy. The treatment course consisted of 8 weeks of therapy with an escalating daily dosage and number of days of treatment per week to a total dose of 900 × 106 U/sq m. Response to treatment was determined by serial computerized tomography (CT) scans. Seven of the 17 evaluable patients were determined to be treatment responders at 12 weeks (1 month after completion of treatment), and the other 10 patients exhibited tumor progression during this period. Median survival time was 511 days for the responders versus 147 days for the non-responding patients. Interferon appears to be efficacious in the treatment of recurrent anaplastic gliomas as defined by CT brain scan responses following therapy.

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Ian F. Pollack, Margaret S. Randall, Matthew P. Kristofik, Robert H. Kelly, Robert G. Selker and Frank T. Vertosick Jr.

✓ To evaluate the role of protein kinase C-mediated pathways in the proliferation of malignant gliomas, this study examined the effect of a protein kinase C (PKC)-activating phorbol ester (12-O-tetradecanoyl-13-phorbol acetate or TPA) and a protein kinase C inhibitor (polymyxin B) on deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) synthesis of malignant glioma cells in vitro. A serum-free chemically defined medium, MCDB 105, was employed for all studies. Two established human malignant glioma cell lines (T98G and U138), two rat glioma lines (9L and C6), and two low-passage human glioma lines (obtained from surgical specimens) were studied. With the exception of the C6 line, all tumors responded in a dose-dependent fashion to nanomolar concentrations of TPA with a median effective dose that varied from 0.5 ng/ml for the U138 glioma to 1 ng/ml for the T98G glioma. At optimal concentrations (5 to 10 ng/ml), TPA produced a two- to five-fold increase in the rate of DNA synthesis (p < 0.05) as assessed by incorporation of 3H-thymidine. However, TPA had no additive effect on the mitogenic response produced by epidermal growth factor (EGF) or platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF). Inhibition of PKC using the antibiotic polymyxin B (20 µg/ml) abolished the TPA-induced mitogenic response in the five responsive lines tested. In two tumors (U138 and 9L), polymyxin B also eliminated EGF-, PDGF-, and serum-induced DNA synthesis as well as abolishing baseline DNA synthesis. These cells remained viable, however, as assessed by trypan blue exclusion; after removal of polymyxin B from the medium, they were able to resume DNA synthesis in response to TPA and serum. In the three other tumors (T98G and the two low-passage human glioma lines), growth factor-induced and serum-induced DNA synthesis were inhibited by approximately 25% to 85%.

It is concluded that PKC-mediated pathways affect DNA synthesis in the human malignant glial tumors studied. The response of the glioma cells to TPA is similar to the responses seen in fetal astrocytes, but differs significantly from those reported for normal adult glial cultures. Because the response of the 9L glioma to TPA is similar to the responses seen in the human tumors, the 9L rat glioma model may prove useful for examining the role of PKC-mediated pathways in controlling glioma growth in vivo.

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William R. Shapiro, Sylvan B. Green, Peter C. Burger, M. Stephen Mahaley Jr., Robert G. Selker, John C. VanGilder, James T. Robertson, Joseph Ransohoff, John Mealey Jr., Thomas A. Strike and David A. Pistenmaa

Within 3 weeks of definitive surgery, 571 adult patients with histologically confirmed, supratentorial malignant gliomas were randomly assigned to receive one of three chemotherapy regimens: BCNU (1,3-bis(2-chloroethyl)-1-nitrosourea) alone, alternating courses (every 8 weeks) of BCNU and procarbazine, or BCNU plus hydroxyurea alternating with procarbazine plus VM-26 (epipodophyllotoxin). Patients accrued in 1980 and 1981 were to receive 6020 rads of whole-brain radiotherapy concurrent with the first course of chemotherapy. Patients accrued in 1982 and 1983 were randomly assigned to receive either whole-brain irradiation as above, or 4300 rads of whole-brain radiotherapy plus 1720 rads coned down to the tumor volume. The data were analyzed for the total randomized population and separately for the 510 patients, termed the “Valid Study Group (VSG),” who met protocol eligibility specifications (including central pathology review), 80% of whom had glioblastoma multiforme. The median survival times from time of randomization for the three chemotherapy groups of the VSG ranged from 11.3 to 13.8 months, and 29% to 37% of the patients survived for 18 months (life-table estimate); the differences between these groups were not statistically significant. Survival differences between the radiotherapy groups were small and not statistically significant. It is concluded that, for malignant glioma, giving part of the radiotherapy by coned-down boost is as effective as full whole-brain irradiation, and that multiple-drug chemotherapy as outlined in this protocol conferred no significant survival advantage over BCNU alone.