Therapeutic potential of AZD1480 for the treatment of human glioblastoma

Mol Cancer Ther. 2011 Dec;10(12):2384-93. doi: 10.1158/1535-7163.MCT-11-0480. Epub 2011 Oct 25.


Aberrant activation of the Janus kinase (JAK)/signal transducer and activator of transcription (STAT) pathway has been implicated in glioblastoma (GBM) progression. To develop a therapeutic strategy to inhibit STAT-3 signaling, we have evaluated the effects of AZD1480, a pharmacologic inhibitor of JAK1 and JAK2. In this study, the in vitro efficacy of AZD1480 was tested in human and murine glioma cell lines. AZD1480 treatment effectively blocks constitutive and stimulus-induced JAK1, JAK2, and STAT-3 phosphorylation in both human and murine glioma cells, and leads to a decrease in cell proliferation and induction of apoptosis. Furthermore, we used human xenograft GBM samples as models for the study of JAK/STAT-3 signaling in vivo, because human GBM samples propagated as xenografts in nude mice retain both the hallmark genetic alterations and the invasive phenotype seen in vivo. In these xenograft tumors, JAK2 and STAT-3 are constitutively active, but levels vary among tumors, which is consistent with the heterogeneity of GBMs. AZD1480 inhibits constitutive and stimulus-induced phosphorylation of JAK2 and STAT-3 in these GBM xenograft tumors in vitro, downstream gene expression, and inhibits cell proliferation. Furthermore, AZD1480 suppresses STAT-3 activation in the glioma-initiating cell population in GBM tumors. In vivo, AZD1480 inhibits the growth of subcutaneous tumors and increases survival of mice bearing intracranial GBM tumors by inhibiting STAT-3 activity, indicating that pharmacologic inhibition of the JAK/STAT-3 pathway by AZD1480 should be considered for study in the treatment of patients with GBM tumors.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antineoplastic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Brain Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Brain Neoplasms / pathology
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Enzyme Activation / drug effects
  • Female
  • Glioblastoma / drug therapy*
  • Glioblastoma / pathology
  • Humans
  • Janus Kinase 2 / metabolism
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Nude
  • Pyrazoles / therapeutic use*
  • Pyrimidines / therapeutic use*
  • STAT3 Transcription Factor / metabolism
  • Xenograft Model Antitumor Assays


  • AZD 1480
  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Pyrazoles
  • Pyrimidines
  • STAT3 Transcription Factor
  • Janus Kinase 2