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Metformin Inhibits Growth of Human Glioblastoma Cells and Enhances Therapeutic Response.

Al's Comment:

 Metformin is a cheap, easily available drug used to treat type 2 diabetes.  Sounds interesting.


Posted on: 04/14/2015

  PLoS One. 2015 Apr 13;10(4):e0123721. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0123721.
Metformin Inhibits Growth of Human Glioblastoma Cells and Enhances Therapeutic Response.
Sesen J1, Dahan P1, Scotland SJ2, Saland E1, Dang VT1, Lemarié A1, Tyler BM3, Brem H3, Toulas C1, Cohen-Jonathan Moyal E1, Sarry JE1, Skuli N1.
 
Author information:
1INSERM U1037, Centre de Recherche en Cancérologie de Toulouse, Toulouse, France.
2INSERM U1037, Centre de Recherche en Cancérologie de Toulouse, Toulouse, France; Department of Neurosurgery, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland, United States of America.
3Department of Neurosurgery, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland, United States of America.
 
Abstract
 
High-grade gliomas, glioblastomas (GB), are refractory to conventional treatment combining surgery, chemotherapy, mainly temozolomide, and radiotherapy. This highlights an urgent need to develop novel therapies and increase the efficacy of radio/chemotherapy for these very aggressive and malignant brain tumors. Recently, tumor metabolism became an interesting potential therapeutic target in various cancers. Accordingly, combining drugs targeting cell metabolism with appropriate chemotherapeutic agents or radiotherapy has become attractive. In light of these perspectives, we were particularly interested in the anti-cancer properties of a biguanide molecule used for type 2 diabetes treatment, metformin. In our present work, we demonstrate that metformin decreases mitochondrial-dependent ATP production and oxygen consumption and increases lactate and glycolytic ATP production. We show that metformin induces decreased proliferation, cell cycle arrest, autophagy, apoptosis and cell death in vitro with a concomitant activation of AMPK, Redd1 and inhibition of the mTOR pathway. Cell sensitivity to metformin also depends on the genetic and mutational backgrounds of the different GB cells used in this study, particularly their PTEN status. Interestingly, knockdown of AMPK and Redd1 with siRNA partially, but incompletely, abrogates the induction of apoptosis by metformin suggesting both AMPK/Redd1-dependent and -independent effects. However, the primary determinant of the effect of metformin on cell growth is the genetic and mutational backgrounds of the glioma cells. We further demonstrate that metformin treatment in combination with temozolomide and/or irradiation induces a synergistic anti-tumoral response in glioma cell lines. Xenografts performed in nude mice demonstrate in vivo that metformin delays tumor growth. As current treatments for GB commonly fail to cure, the need for more effective therapeutic options is overwhelming. Based on these results, metformin could represent a potential enhancer of the cytotoxic effects of temozolomide and/or radiotherapy.
PMID: 25867026 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

 


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