Novel nanocarriers for invasive glioma
Munson, Jennifer Megan
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The invasive nature of glioblastoma (GBM) represents a significant challenge to the standard of care and contributes to poor clinical outcomes. Invasion of tumors into healthy brain restricts chemotherapeutic access and complicates surgical resection. The central hypothesis of the thesis is that an effective anti-invasive agent can enhance the standard chemotherapeutic response in invasive brain tumors. Through a screen of novel compounds, a new anti-invasive small molecule, Imipramine Blue (IB), was identified. This triphenylmethane compound inhibits invasion of highly invasive glioma in vitro and in vivo. To elicit a response in vivo, Imipramine Blue was liposomally encapsulated to yield better delivery to tumor. Using this formulation, it is shown that IB attenuates invasion of glioma in vivo leading to a more compact tumor in an aggressively invasive rodent glioma model. Further, it is shown that this novel compound binds NADPH oxidases and alters expression of actin regulatory elements to elicit this anti-invasive activity. To test our hypothesis that anti-invasive therapy coupled with chemotherapy will enhance efficacy, nano-IB therapy was followed by liposomally encapsulated doxorubicin (DXR) chemotherapy. Additionally, a co-encapsulated formulation of IB and DXR was developed and tested in vivo. This combination therapy significantly enhanced survival compared to IB or DXR alone, resulting in long-term survival in the syngeneic invasive rat astrocytoma model RT2. It was seen that sequential treatment was more effective than the co-encapsulated treatment indicating a benefit of pre-treating the tumor with the anti-invasive. This thesis demonstrates that novel anti-invasive IB mediated 'containment' of diffuse glioma significantly enhances the efficacy of DXR chemotherapy compared to chemotherapy or anti-invasive therapy alone.