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"A cell-cycle phase nonspecific alkylating antineoplastic agent. It is used in the treatment of brain tumors and various other malignant neoplasms. (From Martindale, The Extra Pharmacopoeia, 30th ed, p462) This substance may reasonably be anticipated to be a carcinogen according to the Fourth Annual Report on Carcinogens (NTP 85-002, 1985). (From Merck Index, 11th ed)" (MeSH 2013)

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Web Resources: Carmustine
Latest Research Publications
Carmustine Implants (Gliadel)

Web Resources: Carmustine (6 links)

Latest Research Publications

Wei KC, Lin FW, Huang CY, et al.
1,3-Bis(2-chloroethyl)-1-nitrosourea-loaded bovine serum albumin nanoparticles with dual magnetic resonance-fluorescence imaging for tracking of chemotherapeutic agents.
Int J Nanomedicine. 2016; 11:4065-75 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
To date, knowing how to identify the location of chemotherapeutic agents in the human body after injection is still a challenge. Therefore, it is urgent to develop a drug delivery system with molecular imaging tracking ability to accurately understand the distribution, location, and concentration of a drug in living organisms. In this study, we developed bovine serum albumin (BSA)-based nanoparticles (NPs) with dual magnetic resonance (MR) and fluorescence imaging modalities (fluorescein isothiocyanate [FITC]-BSA-Gd/1,3-bis(2-chloroethyl)-1-nitrosourea [BCNU] NPs) to deliver BCNU for inhibition of brain tumor cells (MBR 261-2). These BSA-based NPs are water dispersible, stable, and biocompatible as confirmed by XTT cell viability assay. In vitro phantoms and in vivo MR and fluorescence imaging experiments show that the developed FITC-BSA-Gd/BCNU NPs enable dual MR and fluorescence imaging for monitoring cellular uptake and distribution in tumors. The T1 relaxivity (R1) of FITC-BSA-Gd/BCNU NPs was 3.25 mM(-1) s(-1), which was similar to that of the commercial T1 contrast agent (R1 =3.36 mM(-1) s(-1)). The results indicate that this multifunctional drug delivery system has potential bioimaging tracking of chemotherapeutic agents ability in vitro and in vivo for cancer therapy.

Murai S, Ichikawa T, Kurozumi K, et al.
Quantitative analysis of brain edema in patients with malignant glioma treated with BCNU wafers.
J Clin Neurosci. 2016; 33:148-153 [PubMed] Related Publications
BCNU wafers are a form of interstitial chemotherapy that is expected to improve the survival of patients with malignant glioma. However, their adverse events, especially brain edema, sometimes cause significant clinical symptoms. In this study, we performed a volumetric analysis of brain edema after the implantation of BCNU wafers and reported on the clinical course, and exacerbation factors of brain edema. Twelve patients who underwent surgical resection of supratentorial malignant glioma and BCNU wafer implantation, were enrolled. Radiographic quantitative analysis was conducted and compared with a historical control. The volume change in brain edema was divided into three groups and correlation with clinical symptoms was then evaluated. Compared with the control group, the brain edema in the BCNU wafer implantation group was significantly prolonged after surgery. Radiographic volumetric analysis revealed an increase of more than 25% at any time after surgery in four patients (33%) and a reduction of less than 25%, 1month after surgery in three patients (25%). Grade 3 clinical deterioration related to brain edema occurred in two patients and Grade 2 in one patient. Univariate analysis revealed that the radiographic deterioration of brain edema had no correlation with age, sex, diagnosis, tumor grade, preoperative volume of brain edema and tumor, residual tumor volume, or number of BCNU wafers. Radiographic quantitative analysis of brain edema indicated that BCNU wafer implantation may induce the prolongation and enlargement of brain edema with or without neurological deterioration. Brain edema may be controlled by intensive perioperative treatment with diuretics and corticosteroids.

Hasegawa Y, Iuchi T, Sakaida T, et al.
The influence of carmustine wafer implantation on tumor bed cysts and peritumoral brain edema.
J Clin Neurosci. 2016; 31:67-71 [PubMed] Related Publications
The development of perifocal edema and tumor bed cyst has been reported after implantation of biodegradable carmustine wafers for the treatment of malignant gliomas. We retrospectively evaluated these changes in a series of patients; 19 consecutive patients with malignant glioma who received carmustine wafer implantation at our hospital from January 2013 through July 2013, and 28 patients who underwent surgery prior to our institution's initiation of carmustine wafer implantation, as historical controls. The volume of the tumor bed cyst and perifocal edema was calculated on MRI acquired at four time points: ⩽72hours after surgery for baseline, and at 1-4, 5-8, and 9-12weeks after surgery. The volume of the tumor bed cyst in the wafer group increased significantly relative to the control group at all time points (p=0.04). Opening of the ventricle was inversely correlated with enlargement of the tumor bed cyst in the wafer group (p=0.04). The change in the volume of perifocal edema in the wafer group was not significantly different (p=0.48), but exhibited a considerable increase in patients with anaplastic oligodendroglioma relative to glioblastoma patients in the wafer group (p=0.01). We demonstrated significant enlargement of the tumor bed cyst volume after carmustine wafer implantation, as well as the development of marked perifocal edema in patients with anaplastic oligodendroglioma.

Masuda Y, Ishikawa E, Yamamoto T, et al.
Early Postoperative Expansion of Parenchymal High-intensity Areas on T2-weighted Imaging Predicts Delayed Cerebral Edema Caused by Carmustine Wafer Implantation in Patients with High-grade Glioma.
Magn Reson Med Sci. 2016; 15(3):299-307 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Carmustine (BCNU) wafer (Gliadel(®) Wafer) implantation after tumor resection is an approved treatment for high-grade glioma (HGG). These wafers change various characteristics on early postoperative magnetic resonance imaging (ep-MRI) including slight expansion of high-intensity areas on T2-weighted imaging (ep-T2-HIAs) into adjacent parenchyma without restricted diffusivity. We assessed the frequency of the ep-T2-HIAs after BCNU wafer implantation in HGG patients. Moreover, we focused on ep-T2-HIA expansion and its relation to delayed cerebral edema.
METHODS: Twenty-five consecutive HGG patients who underwent BCNU wafer implantation were assessed. First, patients were divided into ep-T2-HIA and non-ep-T2-HIA groups, and the incidence of delayed adverse effects was compared between the two groups. Subsequently, the patients were divided into delayed edema and non-delayed edema groups, and pre-, intra-, and postoperative data were compared between the two groups.
RESULTS: The ep-T2-HIA expansion and the delayed edema were evident in 9 cases (36%) and 12 cases (48%), respectively. In comparison of the ep-T2-HIA and non-ep-T2-HIA groups, delayed edema was the only delayed adverse effect associated with ep-T2-HIA expansion (P = 0.004). Univariate analysis showed a significantly higher ratio of delayed edema in the subgroups with maximal diameter of removed cavity ≤40 mm (P = 0.047) and the ep-T2-HIA expansion in comparison of the delayed edema and non-delayed edema groups. Multivariate analysis showed that the ep-T2-HIA expansion was the only independent factor associated with delayed edema (P = 0.021).
CONCLUSION: In BCNU wafer implantation cases, ep-T2-HIA expansion was a predictive factor for delayed cerebral edema.

Ohue S, Kohno S, Inoue A, et al.
Evaluation of serial changes on computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging after implantation of carmustine wafers in patients with malignant gliomas for differential diagnosis of tumor recurrence.
J Neurooncol. 2016; 126(1):119-26 [PubMed] Related Publications
Carmustine wafers are approved for localized treatment of malignant glioma. In this study, overall changes in computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance (MR) images of malignant glioma patients treated with carmustine wafer implantation were evaluated. The subjects were 25 patients undergoing craniotomy for malignant glioma resection and carmustine wafer implantation. Changes in the appearance of wafers, the resection cavity, and the adjacent parenchyma on CT and MR imaging were evaluated retrospectively. On CT, the wafers changed from an initially high-dense to an iso-dense appearance. All MR studies showed a low-intense wafer within 2 days. The wafers changed to a high- or iso-intense appearance on fluid attenuated inversion recovery and T1-weighted imaging, whereas they changed to an iso- to low-intense appearance on T2-weighted imaging. Gas in the cavity increased gradually after surgery, achieved a peak at 1 week postoperatively, and then disappeared in 1-3 months. Increased volume of the resection cavity was observed in 48% of patients. Regarding changes in the adjacent parenchyma, obvious contrast enhancement at the wall of the resection cavity was seen in 91% of cases at 1 month, but this disappeared gradually. Edema around the resection cavity was increased in 7 patients (28%), of whom only two experienced symptoms due to edema. We conclude that these radiological changes after carmustine wafer implantation should be carefully followed up, because these changes can easily be mistaken for infectious disease or recurrent tumors.

Heisig M, Maj J, Szepietowski JC, Reich A
Durable remission of folliculotropic mycosis fungoides achieved with a combined topical treatment with cytarabine and carmustine.
Dermatol Ther. 2016 Jan-Feb; 29(1):15-8 [PubMed] Related Publications
Folliculotropic mycosis fungoides (MF) is an uncommon subtype of MF which has a more aggressive natural history and is more resistant to treatment than other forms of MF. In this article, an innovative method of treatment is presented. We describe a successful use of topical cytarabine combined with topical carmustine in a patient with a folliculotropic MF. Based on our patient history we suggest this method as an effective therapy option for patients with folliculotropic MF unresponsive to other forms of treatment.

Pallud J, Audureau E, Noel G, et al.
Long-term results of carmustine wafer implantation for newly diagnosed glioblastomas: a controlled propensity-matched analysis of a French multicenter cohort.
Neuro Oncol. 2015; 17(12):1609-19 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: The standard of care for newly diagnosed glioblastoma is maximal safe surgical resection, followed by chemoradiation therapy. We assessed carmustine wafer implantation efficacy and safety when used in combination with standard care.
METHODS: Included were adult patients with (n = 354, implantation group) and without (n = 433, standard group) carmustine wafer implantation during first surgical resection followed by chemoradiation standard protocol. Multivariate and case-matched analyses (controlled propensity-matched cohort, 262 pairs of patients) were conducted.
RESULTS: The median progression-free survival was 12.0 months (95% CI: 10.7-12.6) in the implantation group and 10.0 months (9.0-10.0) in the standard group and the median overall survival was 20.4 months (19.0-22.7) and 18.0 months (17.0-19.0), respectively. Carmustine wafer implantation was independently associated with longer progression-free survival in patients with subtotal/total surgical resection in the whole series (adjusted hazard ratio [HR], 0.76 [95% CI: 0.63-0.92], P = .005) and after propensity matching (HR, 0.74 [95% CI: 0.60-0.92], P = .008), whereas no significant difference was found for overall survival (HR, 0.95 [0.80-1.13], P = .574; HR, 1.06 [0.87-1.29], P = .561, respectively). Surgical resection at progression whether alone or combined with carmustine wafer implantation was independently associated with longer overall survival in the whole series (HR, 0.58 [0.44-0.76], P < .0001; HR, 0.54 [0.41-0.70], P < .0001, respectively) and after propensity matching (HR, 0.56 [95% CI: 0.40-0.78], P < .0001; HR, 0.46 [95% CI: 0.33-0.64], P < .0001, respectively). The higher postoperative infection rate in the implantation group did not affect survival.
CONCLUSIONS: Carmustine wafer implantation during surgical resection followed by the standard chemoradiation protocol for newly diagnosed glioblastoma in adults resulted in a significant progression-free survival benefit.

Xing WK, Shao C, Qi ZY, et al.
The role of Gliadel wafers in the treatment of newly diagnosed GBM: a meta-analysis.
Drug Des Devel Ther. 2015; 9:3341-8 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Standard treatment for high-grade glioma (HGG) includes surgery followed by radiotherapy and/or chemotherapy. Insertion of carmustine wafers into the resection cavity as a treatment for malignant glioma is currently a controversial topic among neurosurgeons. Our meta-analysis focused on whether carmustine wafer treatment could significantly benefit the survival of patients with newly diagnosed glioblastoma multiforme (GBM).
METHOD: We searched the PubMed and Web of Science databases without any restrictions on language using the keywords "Gliadel wafers", "carmustine wafers", "BCNU wafers", or "interstitial chemotherapy" in newly diagnosed GBM for the period from January 1990 to March 2015. Randomized controlled trials (RCTs) and cohort studies/clinical trials that compared treatments designed with and without carmustine wafers and which reported overall survival or hazard ratio (HR) or survival curves were included in this study. Moreover, the statistical analysis was conducted by the STATA 12.0 software.
RESULTS: Six studies including two RCTs and four cohort studies, enrolling a total of 513 patients (223 with and 290 without carmustine wafers), matched the selection criteria. Carmustine wafers showed a strong advantage when pooling all the included studies (HR = 0.63, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 0.49-0.81; P = 0.019). However, the two RCTs did not show a statistical increase in survival in the group with carmustine wafer compared to the group without it (HR = 0.51, 95% CI = 0.18-1.41; P = 0.426), while the cohort studies demonstrated a significant survival increase (HR = 0.59, 95% CI = 0.44-0.79; P < 0.0001).
CONCLUSION: Carmustine-impregnated wafers play a significant role in improving survival when used for patients with newly diagnosed GBM. More studies should be designed for newly diagnosed GBM in the future.

Chaichana KL, Kone L, Bettegowda C, et al.
Risk of surgical site infection in 401 consecutive patients with glioblastoma with and without carmustine wafer implantation.
Neurol Res. 2015; 37(8):717-26 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVES: Patients with glioblastoma (GBM) have an inherently shortened survival because of their disease. It has been recently shown that carmustine wafers in addition to other therapies (surgery, temozolomide, and radiation) can further extend survival. There is concern, however, that these therapies may increase infection risk. The goals of this study were to calculate the incidence of postoperative infection, evaluate if carmustine wafers changes the risk of infection and identify factors independently associated with an infection following GBM surgery.
METHODS: All patients who underwent non-biopsy, surgical resection of an intracranial GBM from 2007 to 2011 at a single institution were retrospectively reviewed. Stepwise multivariate proportional hazards regression analysis was used to identify factors associated with infection, including the use of carmustine wafers. Variables with P < 0.05 were considered statistically significant.
RESULTS: Four hundred and one patients underwent resection of an intracranial GBM during the reviewed period, and 21 (5%) patients developed an infection at a median time of 40 [28-286] days following surgery. The incidence of infection was not higher in patients who had carmustine wafers, and this remained true in multivariate analyses to account for differences in treatment cohorts. The factors that remained significantly associated with an increased risk of infection were prior surgery [RR (95% CI); 2.026 (1.473-4.428), P = 0.01], diabetes mellitus [RR (95% CI); 6.090 (1.380-9.354)], P = 0.02], and increasing duration of hospital stay [RR (95% CI); 1.048 (1.006-1.078); P = 0.02], where the greatest risk occurred with hospital stays > 5 days [RR (95% CI); 3.904 (1.003-11.620), P = 0.05].
DISCUSSION: These findings may help guide treatment regimens aimed at minimizing infection for patients with GBM.

Gonsalves CF, Eschelman DJ, Thornburg B, et al.
Uveal Melanoma Metastatic to the Liver: Chemoembolization With 1,3-Bis-(2-Chloroethyl)-1-Nitrosourea.
AJR Am J Roentgenol. 2015; 205(2):429-33 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study is to evaluate whether chemoembolization with 1,3-bis-(2-chloroethyl)-1-nitrosourea (BCNU) is a safe and effective treatment for bulky uveal melanoma liver metastasis.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: Over a 7-year period, 63 treatment-naïve patients presented with uveal melanoma metastasis replacing 50% or more of the normal liver parenchyma. Patients with Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group 0-2 performance status, no extensive extrahepatic metastases, and adequate liver and renal function were treated with BCNU (200 mg) chemoembolization. Pretreatment tumor burdens were classified by MRI as 50-75% and more than 75%. Lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) levels were divided into less than or equal to 500 and more than 500 IU/L (i.e., more than twice the normal level). Treatment toxicity was assessed using Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events (version 4.0). CT and MRI were used to determine best radiologic response (Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors). Overall survival (OS) and progression-free survival (PFS) were compared with tumor burden and LDH levels.
RESULTS: Fifty patients (31 men; mean age, 59.1 years; range, 30-88 years) met the inclusion criteria. A total of 271 chemoembolization procedures were performed. Grade 3 thrombocytopenia occurred in two patients, grade 3 hyperbilirubinemia (n = 2) was attributed to disease progression, and asymptomatic grade 4 transaminitis occurred after 16 treatments. Best radiologic response was as follows: partial response, n = 3; stable disease, n = 33; and disease progression, n = 12 (no follow-up imaging, n = 2). The median OS was 7.1 months (range, 1.2-32.3 months), and the median PFS was 5.0 months (range, 1.1-32.3 months). Eleven patients (22%) survived longer than 12 months (range, 12.2-32.3) with one patient alive at follow-up. Tumor burden and LDH levels showed no statistically significant effect on OS (p = 0.20 and p = 0.14, respectively) or PFS (p = 0.10 and p = 0.34, respectively).
CONCLUSION: BCNU chemoembolization should be considered as a treatment option for patients with bulky uveal melanoma hepatic metastases.

Wait SD, Prabhu RS, Burri SH, et al.
Polymeric drug delivery for the treatment of glioblastoma.
Neuro Oncol. 2015; 17 Suppl 2:ii9-ii23 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Glioblastoma (GBM) remains an almost universally fatal diagnosis. The current therapeutic mainstay consists of maximal safe surgical resection followed by radiation therapy (RT) with concomitant temozolomide (TMZ), followed by monthly TMZ (the "Stupp regimen"). Several chemotherapeutic agents have been shown to have modest efficacy in the treatment of high-grade glioma (HGG), but blood-brain barrier impermeability remains a major delivery obstacle. Polymeric drug-delivery systems, developed to allow controlled local release of biologically active substances for a variety of conditions, can achieve high local concentrations of active agents while limiting systemic toxicities. Polymerically delivered carmustine (BCNU) wafers, placed on the surface of the tumor-resection cavity, can potentially provide immediate chemotherapy to residual tumor cells during the standard delay between surgery and chemoradiotherapy. BCNU wafer implantation as monochemotherapy (with RT) in newly diagnosed HGG has been investigated in 2 phase III studies that reported significant increases in median overall survival. A number of studies have investigated the tumoricidal synergies of combination chemotherapy with BCNU wafers in newly diagnosed or recurrent HGG, and a primary research focus has been the integration of BCNU wafers into multimodality therapy with the standard Stupp regimen. Overall, the results of these studies have been encouraging in terms of safety and efficacy. However, the data must be qualified by the nature of the studies conducted. Currently, there are no phase III studies of BCNU wafers with the standard Stupp regimen. We review the rationale, biochemistry, pharmacokinetics, and research history (including toxicity profile) of this modality.

Pavlov V, Page P, Abi-Lahoud G, et al.
Combining intraoperative carmustine wafers and Stupp regimen in multimodal first-line treatment of primary glioblastomas.
Br J Neurosurg. 2015; 29(4):524-31 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: The study investigated if intraoperative use of carmustine wafers, particularly in combination with Stupp regimen, is a viable and safe first-line treatment option of glioblastomas.
METHODS: Eighty-three consecutive adult patients (50 men; mean age 60 years) with newly diagnosed supratentorial primary glioblastomas that underwent surgical resection with intraoperative carmustine wafers implantation (n = 7.1 ± 1.7) were retrospectively studied.
RESULTS: The median overall survival (OS) was 15.8 months with 56 patients dying over the course of the study. There was no significant association between the number of implanted carmustine wafers and complication rates (four surgical site infections, one death). The OS was significantly longer in Stupp regimen patients (19.5 months) as compared with patients with other postoperative treatments (13 months; p = 0.002). In addition patients with eight or more implanted carmustine wafers survived longer (24.5 months) than patients with seven or less implanted wafers (13 months; p = 0.021). Finally, regardless of the number of carmustine wafers, median OS was significantly longer in patients with a subtotal or total resection (21.5 months) than in patients with a partial resection (13 months; p = 0.011).
CONCLUSIONS: The intraoperative use of carmustine wafers in combination with Stupp regimen is a viable first-line treatment option of glioblastomas. The prognostic value of this treatment association should be evaluated in a multicenter trial, ideally in a randomized and placebo-controlled one.

Chowdhary SA, Ryken T, Newton HB
Survival outcomes and safety of carmustine wafers in the treatment of high-grade gliomas: a meta-analysis.
J Neurooncol. 2015; 122(2):367-82 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Carmustine wafers (CW; Gliadel(®) wafers) are approved to treat newly-diagnosed high-grade glioma (HGG) and recurrent glioblastoma. Widespread use has been limited for several reasons, including concern that their use may preclude enrollment in subsequent clinical trials due to uncertainty about confounding of results and potential toxicities. This meta-analysis estimated survival following treatment with CW for HGG. A literature search identified relevant studies. Overall survival (OS), median survival, and adverse events (AEs) were summarized. Analysis of variance evaluated effects of treatment (CW vs non-CW) and diagnosis (new vs recurrent) on median survival. The analysis included 62 publications, which reported data for 60 studies (CW: n = 3,162; non-CW: n = 1,736). For newly-diagnosed HGG, 1-year OS was 67 % with CW and 48 % without; 2-year OS was 26 and 15 %, respectively; median survival was 16.4 ± 21.6 months and 13.1 ± 29.9 months, respectively. For recurrent HGG, 1-year OS was 37 % with CW and 34 % without; 2-year OS was 15 and 12 %, respectively; median survival was 9.7 ± 20.9 months and 8.6 ± 22.6 months, respectively. Effects of treatment (longer median survival with CW than without; P = 0.043) and diagnosis (longer median survival for newly-diagnosed HGG than recurrent; P < 0.001) on median survival were significant, with no significant treatment-by-diagnosis interaction (P = 0.620). The most common AE associated with wafer removal was surgical site infection (SSI); the most common AEs for repeat surgery were mass effect, SSI, hydrocephalus, cysts in resection cavity, acute hematoma, wound healing complications, and brain necrosis. These data may be useful in the context of utilizing CW in HGG management, and in designing future clinical trials to allow CW-treated patients to participate in experimental protocols.

Mu F, Lucas JT, Watts JM, et al.
Tumor resection with carmustine wafer placement as salvage therapy after local failure of radiosurgery for brain metastasis.
J Clin Neurosci. 2015; 22(3):561-5 [PubMed] Related Publications
Prolonged survival in brain metastasis patients increases recurrence rates and places added importance on salvage therapies. Research examining carmustine polymer wafers as an adjuvant therapy for brain metastasis is limited. We present a single institution retrospective series documenting the use of BCNU wafers placed in the cavity of resected recurrent brain metastases that had failed prior stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS). Between February 2002 and April 2013, a total of 31 patients with brain metastases failed SRS and underwent resection with intracavitary placement of carmustine wafers. Clinical outcomes including local control, survival, cause of death, and toxicity were determined from electronic medical records. Kaplan-Meier analysis was performed to assess local control and survival. Imaging features were reviewed and described for patients with serial post-operative follow-up imaging examinations over time. Overall survival at 6 months and 12 months was 63% and 36%, respectively. Fourteen of 31 patients (45%) died from neurologic causes. Local control within the resection cavity was 87% and 70% at 6 and 12 months, respectively. Five patients (16%) underwent further salvage therapy following carmustine wafer placement after local failure. Resection cavities of all six patients with follow-up imaging showed linear peripheral enhancement. Pericavity and wafer enhancement was present as early as the same day as surgery and persisted in all cases to 6 months or longer. Carmustine polymer wafers are an effective salvage treatment following resection of a brain metastasis that has failed prior SRS. For patients with successful local control after wafer implantation, linear enhancement at the cavity is common.

Sewing AC, Caretti V, Lagerweij T, et al.
Convection enhanced delivery of carmustine to the murine brainstem: a feasibility study.
J Neurosci Methods. 2014; 238:88-94 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Systemic delivery of therapeutic agents remains ineffective against diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG), possibly due to an intact blood-brain-barrier (BBB) and to dose-limiting toxicity of systemic chemotherapeutic agents. Convection-enhanced delivery (CED) into the brainstem may provide an effective local delivery alternative for DIPG patients.
NEW METHOD: The aim of this study is to develop a method to perform CED into the murine brainstem and to test this method using the chemotherapeutic agent carmustine (BiCNU). To this end, a newly designed murine CED catheter was tested in vitro and in vivo. After determination of safety and distribution, mice bearing VUMC-DIPG-3 and E98FM-DIPG brainstem tumors were treated with carmustine dissolved in DW 5% or carmustine dissolved in 10% ethanol.
RESULTS: Our results show that CED into the murine brainstem is feasible and well tolerated by mice with and without brainstem tumors. CED of carmustine dissolved in 5% DW increased median survival of mice with VUMC-DIPG-3 and E98FM-DIPG tumors with 35% and 25% respectively. Dissolving carmustine in 10% ethanol further improved survival to 45% in mice with E98FM-DIPG tumors.
COMPARISON WITH EXISTING METHODS: Since genetically engineered and primary DIPG models are currently only available in mice, murine CED studies have clear advantages over CED studies in other animals.
CONCLUSION: CED in the murine brainstem can be performed safely, is well tolerated and can be used to study efficacy of chemotherapeutic agents orthotopically. These results set the foundation for more CED studies in murine DIPG models.

Sai K, Zhong MG, Wang J, et al.
Safety evaluation of high-dose BCNU-loaded biodegradable implants in Chinese patients with recurrent malignant gliomas.
J Neurol Sci. 2014; 343(1-2):60-5 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVES: Malignant gliomas are common primary brain tumors with dismal prognosis. The blood-brain barrier and unacceptable systemic toxicity limit the employment of chemotherapeutic agents. BCNU-impregnated biodegradable polymers (Gliadel®) have been demonstrated to prolong the survival of patients with malignant gliomas. Until now, no biodegradable drug delivery system has been commercially available in China. In the present study, we evaluated the safety of implants with high-dose BCNU in Chinese patients with recurrent malignant gliomas.
PATIENTS AND METHODS: Adults with supratentorial recurrent malignant glioma were eligible. High-dose BCNU-loaded PLGA implants (20mg of BCNU in each implant) were placed in the debulking cavity. The implants were investigated by a classical 3+3 design. Four levels of BCNU, up to 12 implants, were evaluated. Pharmacokinetic sampling was performed. The toxicity of the implants and the survival of patients were recorded.
RESULTS: Fifteen recurrent patients were enrolled with 12 glioblastomas and 3 anaplastic gliomas. Among 15 patients, 3 were treated with 3 implants (60 mg of BCNU), 3 with 6 implants (120 mg), 3 with 9 implants (180 mg) and 6 with 12 implants (240 mg). No dose-limiting toxicity was observed in the cohort of patients. Subgaleal effusion was the most common adverse event, presenting in 7 patients (46.7%). The median overall survival (OS) was 322 days (95% CI, 173-471 days). The 6-month, 1-year and 2-year survival rates were 66.7%, 40% and 13.3%, respectively.
CONCLUSIONS: The high-dose BCNU-loaded PLGA implants were safe for Chinese patients with recurrent malignant gliomas and further investigation for efficacy is warranted.

Lombardi G, Della Puppa A, Zustovich F, et al.
The combination of carmustine wafers and fotemustine in recurrent glioblastoma patients: a monoinstitutional experience.
Biomed Res Int. 2014; 2014:678191 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: To date, there is no standard treatment for recurrent glioblastoma. We analyzed the feasibility of second surgery plus carmustine wafers followed by intravenous fotemustine.
METHODS: Retrospectively, we analyzed patients with recurrent glioblastoma treated with this multimodal strategy.
RESULTS: Twenty-four patients were analyzed. The median age was 53.6; all patients had KPS between 90 and 100; 19 patients (79%) performed a gross total resection > 98% and 5 (21%) a gross total resection > 90%. The median progression-free survival from second surgery was 6 months (95% CI 3.9-8.05) and the median OS was 14 months (95% CI 11.1-16.8 months). Toxicity was predominantly haematological: 5 patients (21%) experienced grade 3-4 thrombocytopenia and 3 patients (12%) grade 3-4 leukopenia.
CONCLUSION: This multimodal strategy may be feasible in patients with recurrent glioblastoma, in particular, for patients in good clinical conditions.

Aoki T, Nishikawa R, Sugiyama K, et al.
A multicenter phase I/II study of the BCNU implant (Gliadel(®) Wafer) for Japanese patients with malignant gliomas.
Neurol Med Chir (Tokyo). 2014; 54(4):290-301 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Carmustine (BCNU) implants (Gliadel(®) Wafer, Eisai Inc., New Jersey, USA) for the treatment of malignant gliomas (MGs) were shown to enhance overall survival in comparison to placebo in controlled clinical trials in the United States and Europe. A prospective, multicenter phase I/II study involving Japanese patients with MGs was performed to evaluate the efficacy, safety, and pharmacokinetics of BCNU implants. The study enrolled 16 patients with newly diagnosed MGs and 8 patients with recurrent MGs. After the insertion of BCNU implants (8 sheets maximum, 61.6 mg BCNU) into the removal cavity, various chemotherapies (including temozolomide) and radiotherapies were applied. After placement, overall and progression-free survival rates and whole blood BCNU levels were evaluated. In patients with newly diagnosed MGs, the overall survival rates at 12 months and 24 months were 100.0% and 68.8%, and the progression-free survival rate at 12 months was 62.5%. In patients with recurrent MGs, the progression-free survival rate at 6 months was 37.5%. There were no grade 4 or higher adverse events noted due to BCNU implants, and grade 3 events were observed in 5 of 24 patients (20.8%). Whole blood BCNU levels reached a peak of 19.4 ng/mL approximately 3 hours after insertion, which was lower than 1/600 of the peak BCNU level recorded after intravenous injections. These levels decreased to less than the detection limit (2.00 ng/mL) after 24 hours. The results of this study involving Japanese patients are comparable to those of previous studies in the United States and Europe.

Ishikawa E, Yamamoto T, Satomi K, et al.
Intraoperative pathological diagnosis in 205 glioma patients in the pre-BCNU wafer era: retrospective analysis with intraoperative implantation of BCNU wafers in mind.
Brain Tumor Pathol. 2014; 31(3):156-61 [PubMed] Related Publications
The present retrospective data analysis was performed to determine whether intraoperative pathological diagnosis (IOD) using frozen section (FS) could clearly distinguish high-grade glioma from WHO grade II gliomas. IOD was retrospectively compared to the pathological diagnosis using permanent paraffin sections (PS) of 205 glioma cases out of 356 brain tumor cases in the pre-Carmustine (BCNU) wafer era in Japan. The sensitivity and specificity of IOD regarding the whole glioma category were 96.1 and 98.0%, respectively. The positive predictive value and the underestimation ratio of glioma grading by IOD were 51.5 and 43.5% in all glioma cases. In addition, 54.5% of grade II glioma cases determined with IOD (grade II((FS))) were actually grade III or IV according to the PS pathology (grade III((PS)) or IV((PS)) cases). Recurrent cases and older age (≥50 years old) were predictive factors that resulted in underestimated grade II((FS)) group (grade II((FS))/III((PS)) + IV((PS))). The grade II((FS))/III((PS)) group tended to more frequently contain non-astrocytic tumors compared to the grade II((FS))/II((PS)) + IV((PS)) groups, although the difference was not statistically significant. In conclusion, the temporary WHO grade by IOD is underestimated in approximately half of glioma cases. We should pay attention to underestimation with IOD.

Shah RS, Homapour B, Casselden E, et al.
Delayed post-operative haemorrhage after carmustine wafer implantation: a case series from two UK centres.
Br J Neurosurg. 2014; 28(4):488-94 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECT: Significant haemorrhage following intracranial tumour resection may occur in 1-2% of cases and the majority occur within the first few hours post-operatively. Implantation of carmustine wafers has been associated with increased operative site complications in some series, but post-operative haematoma is not routinely reported. We analyzed the characteristics of post-operative haemorrhage after carmustine wafer insertion.
METHODS: We performed a retrospective audit of surgical site haematoma after tumour resection and insertion of carmustine wafers in two neurosurgical units in the UK (University Hospital of North Staffordshire, Stoke-on-Trent, March 2003 - July 2012; Wessex Neurological Centre, Southampton, October 2005 - January 2013).
RESULTS: During the specified time periods, carmustine wafers were inserted in 181 operations in 177 patients. We identified acute operative site haematomas after carmustine wafer insertion in 8 (4.4%) patients. All presented in a delayed fashion on or after Day 2 post-operatively. In contrast, acute operative site haematoma was present in 4/491 (0.81%) of patients who underwent resection without gliadel wafer insertion.
CONCLUSIONS: In contrast to the expected timing of bleeding following intracranial tumour resection, all carmustine wafer patients who experienced haemorrhage presented in a delayed fashion on or after Day 2 post-operatively. The causative factors for universally delayed post-operative haematoma after carmustine wafer insertion are unclear and further studies are required to characterize this phenomenon.

Samis Zella MA, Wallocha M, Slotty PJ, et al.
Evaluation of post-operative complications associated with repeat resection and BCNU wafer implantation in recurrent glioblastoma.
Acta Neurochir (Wien). 2014; 156(2):313-23 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Patients with glioblastoma treated with BCNU wafer implantation for recurrence frequently receive frontline chemoradiotherapy with temozolomide as part of the Stupp protocol. A retrospective investigation was conducted of surgical complications in a cohort of these patients treated at a single institution.
METHODS: We searched our institutional database for patients treated between January 2006 and October 2012 who had recurrent glioblastoma previously treated with open surgery followed by the Stupp protocol and then underwent repeat resection with or without BCNU wafers for recurrent disease. Rates of select post-operative complications within 3 months of surgery were estimated.
RESULTS: We identified 95 patients with glioblastoma who underwent resection followed by the Stupp protocol as frontline treatment. At disease recurrence (first and second recurrence), 63 patients underwent repeat resection with BCNU wafer implantation and 32 without implantation. Generally, BCNU wafer use was associated with minor to moderate increases in rates of select complications versus non-implantation-wound healing abnormalities (14.2 vs. 6.2 %), cerebrospinal fluid leak (7.9 vs. 3.1 %), hydrocephalus requiring ventriculoperitoneal shunt (6.3 vs. 9.3 %), chemical meningitis (3.1 vs. 0 %), cerebral infections (3.1 vs. 0 %), cyst formation (3.1 vs. 3.1 %), cerebral edema (4.7 vs. 0 %), and empyema formations (1.5 vs. 0 %). Performance status was well maintained post-operatively in both groups. Median progression-free survival from the time of first recurrence was 6.0 and 5.0 months, respectively.
CONCLUSIONS: The use of the Stupp protocol as frontline therapy in patients with glioblastoma does not preclude the use of BCNU wafers at the time of progression.

Bregy A, Shah AH, Diaz MV, et al.
The role of Gliadel wafers in the treatment of high-grade gliomas.
Expert Rev Anticancer Ther. 2013; 13(12):1453-61 [PubMed] Related Publications
Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is the most aggressive brain tumor. Standard treatment includes surgery, radiation and chemotherapy. Prognosis is dismal with an average survival of approximately 1 year. Gliadel wafers are one treatment option, working as a source for local chemotherapy delivery. Their use is controversial with questionable survival benefit and potential side effects. We reviewed the literature in an effort to clarify their role in the treatment of high-grade gliomas. A systematic PubMed search was performed using the keywords 'Gliadel', 'carmustine' or 'BCNU wafers' in newly diagnosed high-grade glioma patients. Treatment regimen, and median survival were analyzed. Adverse event ratio was calculated by computing the number of adverse events in a study per patient receiving carmustine wafers. Nineteen studies with 795 patients were included in our review. Survival was 8.7-22.6 months with a mean overall survival (OS) of 16.2 months (control survival is approximately 14 months with surgery and adjuvant chemoradiotherapy). Adverse event ratio using Gliadel wafersin control group. Complication rate was 42.7%. Gliadel wafers may marginally increase survival and local control in newly diagnosed GBM patients but are associated with a high complication rate; therefore, we do not recommend using Gliadel wafers in patients with GBM. Further research may be warranted once a safer alternative to Gliadel wafers has been introduced.

Yan YR, Xie Q, Li F, et al.
Epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition is involved in BCNU resistance in human glioma cells.
Neuropathology. 2014; 34(2):128-34 [PubMed] Related Publications
Chemotherapy has been considered as an effective treatment for malignant glioma; however, it becomes increasingly ineffective with tumor progression. Epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) is a process whereby cells acquire morphologic and molecular alterations that facilitate tumor metastasis and progression. Emerging evidence associates chemoresistance with the acquisition of EMT in cancer. However, it is not clear whether this phenomenon is involved in glioma. We used the previously established human glioma cell lines SWOZ1, SWOZ2 and SWOZ2-BCNU to assess cellular morphology, molecular changes, migration and invasion. We found that BCNU-resistant cells showed multiple drug resistance and phenotypic changes consistent with EMT, including spindle-shaped morphology and enhanced pseudopodia formation. Decreased expression of the epithelial adhesion molecule E-cadherin and increased expression of the mesenchymal marker vimentin were observed in BCNU-resistant SWOZ1 and SWOZ2-BCNU cells compared to SWOZ2 cells. Migratory and metastatic potentials were markedly enhanced in SWOZ1 and SWOZ2-BCNU cells compared to SWOZ2 cells. These data suggest that there is a possible link between drug resistance and EMT induction in glioma cells. Gaining further insight into the mechanisms underlying chemoresistance and EMT may enable the restoration of chemosensitivity or suppression of metastasis.

Brem S, Meyers CA, Palmer G, et al.
Preservation of neurocognitive function and local control of 1 to 3 brain metastases treated with surgery and carmustine wafers.
Cancer. 2013; 119(21):3830-8 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Neurosurgical resection and whole-brain radiation therapy (WBRT) are accepted treatments for single and oligometastatic cancer to the brain. To avoid the decline in neurocognitive function (NCF) linked to WBRT, the authors conducted a prospective, multicenter, phase 2 study to determine whether surgery and carmustine wafers (CW), while deferring WBRT, could preserve NCF and achieve local control (LC).
METHODS: NCF and LC were measured in 59 patients who underwent resection and received CW for a single (83%) or dominant (oligometastatic, 2 to 3 lesions) metastasis and received stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) for tiny nodules not treated with resection plus CW. Preservation of NCF was defined as an improvement or a decline ≤ 1 standard deviation from baseline in 3 domains: memory, executive function, and fine motor skills, evaluated at 2-month intervals.
RESULTS: Significant improvements in executive function and memory occurred throughout the 1-year follow-up. Preservation or improvement of NCF occurred in all 3 domains for the majority of patients at each of the 2-month intervals. NCF declined in only 1 patient. The chemowafers were well tolerated, and serious adverse events were reversible. There was local recurrence in 28% of the patients at 1-year follow-up.
CONCLUSIONS: Patients with brain metastases had improvements in their cognitive trajectory, especially memory and executive function, after treatment with resection plus CW. The rate of LC (78%) was comparable to historic rates of surgery with WBRT and superior to reports of WBRT alone. For patients who undergo resection for symptomatic or large-volume metastasis or for tissue diagnosis, the addition of CW can be considered as an option.

Gutenberg A, Bock HC, Brück W, et al.
MGMT promoter methylation status and prognosis of patients with primary or recurrent glioblastoma treated with carmustine wafers.
Br J Neurosurg. 2013; 27(6):772-8 [PubMed] Related Publications
The prognostic role of O(6)-methylguanine-DNA methyltransferase (MGMT) promoter methylation in glioblastoma patients treated with carmustine (BCNU) wafer implantation is unclear. Here, we report on a retrospective study of 47 patients with either newly diagnosed (30 patients) or recurrent (17 patients) glioblastoma (WHO grade IV) treated with BCNU (bis-chloroethylnitrosourea) wafers. Thirteen of the newly diagnosed patients received local BCNU and irradiation only (first-line BCNU), while 17 patients additionally received concomitant and adjuvant temozolomide (TMZ) radiochemotherapy (first-line BCNU + TMZ). Of the 17 patients treated for recurrent glioblastoma (second-line BCNU), 16 had received radiotherapy with concomitant and adjuvant TMZ as an initial treatment. Median overall survival (OS) did not significantly differ between 19 patients with MGMT promoter methylated tumors when compared to 28 patients with unmethylated tumors (18.9 vs 15.0 months; p = 0.1054). In the first-line BCNU + TMZ group, MGMT promoter methylation was associated with longer OS (21.0 vs 11.1 months, p = 0.0127), while no significant survival differences were detected in the other two subgroups. Progression-free survival did not significantly differ between patients with and without MGMT promoter methylated tumors in the entire patient cohort or any of the three subgroups. The first-line BCNU + TMZ group showed no significant difference in OS when compared to the first-line BCNU group (18.9 vs 14.7 months), but tended to have more therapy-related adverse effects (53% vs 24%, p = 0.105). In summary, MGMT promoter methylation showed a non-significant trend toward longer survival in our patient cohort. The combination of TMZ radiochemotherapy with local delivery of BCNU did not provide a significant survival benefit compared to local BCNU alone, but was associated with a higher rate of adverse effects. Owing to the small number of patients investigated, however, these findings would need to be corroborated in larger patient cohorts.

Salmaggi A, Milanesi I, Silvani A, et al.
Prospective study of carmustine wafers in combination with 6-month metronomic temozolomide and radiation therapy in newly diagnosed glioblastoma: preliminary results.
J Neurosurg. 2013; 118(4):821-9 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECT: Locoregional chemotherapy with carmustine wafers, positioned at surgery and followed by radiation therapy, has been shown to prolong survival in patients with newly diagnosed glioblastoma, as has concomitant radiochemotherapy with temozolomide. A combination of carmustine wafers with the Stupp treatment regimen has only been investigated in retrospective studies.
METHODS: In a single-institution prospective study, the authors assessed 12-month progression-free survival (PFS), toxicity, and overall survival in patients with glioblastoma treated with surgery, carmustine wafers, radiotherapy, and 6-month metronomic temozolomide chemotherapy. Thirty-five patients with de novo glioblastoma, between the ages of 18 and 70 years, and with Karnofsky Performance Scale scores of at least 70, were included in the study. Patients were followed monthly and assessed using MRI every 2 months.
RESULTS: After a median follow-up of 15 months, the median time to tumor progression was 12.5 months and median survival was 17.8 months. Due to toxicity (mostly hematological), 7 patients had to prematurely stop temozolomide treatment. Twenty-two patients developed Grade 3 CD4(+) lymphocytopenia. Three patients developed oral-esophageal candidiasis, 2 developed pneumonia, and 1 developed a dorsolumbar zoster. Early intracranial hypertension was observed in 1 patient, and 1 was treated empirically for suspected brain abscess. One patient died of Legionella pneumonia soon after repeat surgery.
CONCLUSIONS: Overall, this treatment schedule produced promising results in terms of PFS without a marked increase in toxicities as compared with the Stupp regimen. However, the gain in median survival using this schedule was less clear. Only prospective comparative trials will determine whether these preliminary results will translate into a long-term survival advantage with an acceptable toxicity profile.

Dörner L, Mustafa A, Rohr A, et al.
Growth pattern of tumor recurrence following bis-chloroethylnitrosourea (BCNU) wafer implantation in malignant glioma.
J Clin Neurosci. 2013; 20(3):429-34 [PubMed] Related Publications
Bis-chloroethylnitrosourea (BCNU; Gliadel, Eisai, Tokyo, Japan) is the only therapeutic agent for local chemotherapy of malignant gliomas approved by the US Food and Drug Administration and the European Medicines Agency. In a small patient cohort, it has previously been shown that glioblastomas recur locally despite treatment with BCNU. This raises concern about local treatment with BCNU as a stand-alone measure. The goal of this study was to analyze the growth pattern of tumor recurrence in a larger patient group: 41 patients were included in this study. Tumor recurrences were morphologically categorized as: local, diffuse, distant or multilocular. Thirty-three of the tumors (80%) that recurred were local or diffuse. These results show that BCNU implantation does not provide lasting local tumor control. Our data support the need to incorporate BCNU in to multimodal therapy schemes. The improved survival rates of patients who receive concomitant local and systemic adjuvant treatment support using local therapy to bridge the therapy-free interval of the initial postoperative phase.

Duntze J, Litré CF, Eap C, et al.
Implanted carmustine wafers followed by concomitant radiochemotherapy to treat newly diagnosed malignant gliomas: prospective, observational, multicenter study on 92 cases.
Ann Surg Oncol. 2013; 20(6):2065-72 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVES: Study the feasibility and effectiveness of a treatment associated surgery, intraoperative chemotherapy (carmustine wafers), and concomitant radiochemotherapy (temozolomide) for the management of newly diagnosed, high-grade gliomas.
METHODS: Prospective multicenter study conducted in 17 French centers with a total of 92 patients with newly diagnosed malignant glioma treated by surgery, implanted Carmustine wafers (Gliadel(®)) followed by concomitant radiochemotherapy by temozolomide (Temodar(®)). Clinical, imaging, and survival data were collected to study toxicity-induced adverse events and efficacy.
RESULTS: A total of 20.6 % presented with adverse events during surgery, potentially attributable to carmustine, including 5 severe infections. Afterwards, 37.2 % of patients showed adverse events during radiochemotherapy and 40 % during adjuvant chemotherapy by temozolomide. We report a 10.5-month, median, progression-free survival and an 18.8-month median overall survival. No significant statistical difference was observed according to age, Karnofsky Performance Scale, or grade of the tumor. A prognostic difference at the limit of the significance threshold was observed according to the extent of the resection.
CONCLUSIONS: Multimodal treatment associating implanted carmustine chemotherapy and concomitant radiochemotherapy with temozolomide seems to yield better survival rates than those usually described when carmustine or temozolomide are used alone independently from one another. These interesting results were obtained without increased adverse events and would need to be validated during a phase 3 study.

Rivero-Garvía M, Márquez-Rivas J, Rivas E, et al.
Primary cerebral radiotherapy-induced rhabdomyosarcoma: treatment with intraoperative carmustine implants.
Pediatr Hematol Oncol. 2013; 30(1):1-3 [PubMed] Related Publications
INTRODUCTION: Primary cerebral rhabdomyosarcomas (cRMS) are extremely rare, with only 41 cases reported in the literature. Survival of patients with localized cRMS is 70% after 5 years but not in the case of intracranial neoplasms, where survival rarely exceeds 10 months.
CASE REPORT: A 10-year-old female patient with a history of acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) and holocranial radiotherapy (RT) 6 years ago, referred after partial surgical resection of a left parietal lesion, diagnosed as an embryonal tumor with mixed neuronal-glial differentiation (WHO grade IV). A second operation was performed for complete resection and placement of intracavitary chemotherapy (carmustine). The pathology revealed a high-grade undifferentiated neoplasm positive for myogenin and desmin that was compatible with cRMS. In the immunohistochemistry study, the neoplasm was positive for vimentin, myogenin, and desmin, as is characteristic of cRMS, and negative for synaptophysin and enolase, ruling out primitive neuroectodermal embriogenic tumor (PNET). Given a diagnosis of cRMS, a combined thoracoabdominal PET-CT scan was performed without finding other primary lesions and a bone marrow study was also performed without observing abnormalities. Consequently, the diagnosis was established as primary cRMS.
DISCUSSION: Among the long-term sequelae of radiotherapy, neurocognitive disorders, brain disorders such as leukomalacia, vascular diseases, or secondary tumors, ranging from benign lesions such as meningiomas to more aggressive lesions such as ependymomas, which are high-grade gliomas, are described. In the brain MRI, our patient showed a radiotherapy-induced periventricular leukomalacia and a malignant lesion: a cRMS. The use of carmustine in this disease may facilitate local control.

Yuan S, Wang F, Chen G, et al.
Effective elimination of cancer stem cells by a novel drug combination strategy.
Stem Cells. 2013; 31(1):23-34 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Development of effective therapeutic strategies to eliminate cancer stem cells, which play a major role in drug resistance and disease recurrence, is critical to improve cancer treatment outcomes. Our study showed that glioblastoma stem cells (GSCs) exhibited low mitochondrial respiration and high glycolytic activity. These GSCs were highly resistant to standard drugs such as carmustine and temozolomide (TMZ), but showed high sensitivity to a glycolytic inhibitor 3-bromo-2-oxopropionate-1-propyl ester (3-BrOP), especially under hypoxic conditions. We further showed that combination of 3-BrOP with carmustine but not with TMZ achieved a striking synergistic effect and effectively killed GSCs through a rapid depletion of cellular ATP and inhibition of carmustine-induced DNA repair. This drug combination significantly impaired the sphere-forming ability of GSCs in vitro and tumor formation in vivo, leading to increase in the overall survival of mice bearing orthotopic inoculation of GSCs. Further mechanistic study showed that 3-BrOP and carmustine inhibited glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase and caused a severe energy crisis in GSCs. Our study suggests that GSCs are highly glycolytic and that certain drug combination strategies can be used to effectively overcome their drug resistance based on their metabolic properties.

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