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Review
. 2006 May;28(5):1021-30.

Cimetidine, an Unexpected Anti-Tumor Agent, and Its Potential for the Treatment of Glioblastoma (Review)

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  • PMID: 16596218
Review

Cimetidine, an Unexpected Anti-Tumor Agent, and Its Potential for the Treatment of Glioblastoma (Review)

Florence Lefranc et al. Int J Oncol. .

Abstract

Cimetidine (CIM), the prototypical histamine H2 receptor antagonist (H2RA), was brought to market based on its ability to accelerate healing of gastrointestinal ulcers through the inhibition of gastric acid secretion. Cimetidine, the most studied H2RA, has been demonstrated to possess anti-tumor activity against colon, gastric and kidney cancers, and melanomas. This activity involves a number of different mechanisms of action: a) CIM antagonizes tumor cell-mediated interleukin-1-induced activation of selectins in liver sinusoids, inhibiting tumor cell binding on liver sinusoids, thereby reducing the development of liver metastasis; b) histamine acts as a growth factor in various tumor cell types via the activation of H2 receptors; CIM therefore may antagonize this effect; c) CIM acts as an immunomodulator by enhancing the host's immune response to tumor cells. With respect to malignant gliomas, CIM added to temozolomide was superior in vivo when compared to temozolomide alone in extending survival of nude mice with human glioblastoma cells orthotopically xenografted into their brain. We review the various mechanisms of action potentially associated with the therapeutic effects of CIM in the case of experimental glioblastomas, observations we hope will encourage clinical investigation of CIM in the management of highly malignant gliomas.

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