Convection-enhanced delivery of etoposide is effective against murine proneural glioblastoma

Neuro Oncol. 2014 Sep;16(9):1210-9. doi: 10.1093/neuonc/nou026. Epub 2014 Mar 16.


Background: Glioblastoma subtypes have been defined based on transcriptional profiling, yet personalized care based on molecular classification remains unexploited. Topoisomerase II (TOP2) contributes to the transcriptional signature of the proneural glioma subtype. Thus, we targeted TOP2 pharmacologically with etoposide in proneural glioma models.

Methods: TOP2 gene expression was evaluated in mouse platelet derived growth factor (PDGF)(+)phosphatase and tensin homolog (PTEN)(-/-)p53(-/-) and PDGF(+)PTEN(-/-) proneural gliomas and cell lines, as well as human glioblastoma from The Cancer Genome Atlas. Correlation between TOP2 transcript levels and etoposide susceptibility was investigated in 139 human cancer cell lines from the Cancer Cell Line Encyclopedia public dataset and in mouse proneural glioma cell lines. Convection-enhanced delivery (CED) of etoposide was tested on cell-based PDGF(+)PTEN(-/-)p53(-/-) and retroviral-based PDGF(+)PTEN(-/-) mouse proneural glioma models.

Results: TOP2 expression was significantly higher in human proneural glioblastoma and in mouse proneural tumors at early as well as late stages of development compared with normal brain. TOP2B transcript correlated with susceptibility to etoposide in mouse proneural cell lines and in 139 human cancer cell lines from the Cancer Cell Line Encyclopedia. Intracranial etoposide CED treatment (680 μM) was well tolerated by mice and led to a significant survival benefit in the PDGF(+)PTEN(-/-)p53(-/-) glioma model. Moreover, etoposide CED treatment at 80 μM but not 4 μM led to a significant survival advantage in the PDGF(+)PTEN(-/-) glioma model.

Conclusions: TOP2 is highly expressed in proneural gliomas, rendering its pharmacological targeting by intratumoral administration of etoposide by CED effective on murine proneural gliomas. We provide evidence supporting clinical testing of CED of etoposide with a molecular-based patient selection approach.

Keywords: convection-enhanced delivery; etoposide; glioma; proneural; topoisomerase.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antigens, Neoplasm / metabolism*
  • Brain Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Brain Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Cell Survival / drug effects
  • Convection
  • DNA Topoisomerases, Type II / metabolism*
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / metabolism*
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Drug Delivery Systems / methods
  • Etoposide / administration & dosage*
  • Glioblastoma / drug therapy*
  • Glioblastoma / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Mice
  • Poly-ADP-Ribose Binding Proteins
  • Survival Analysis
  • Topoisomerase II Inhibitors / administration & dosage*


  • Antigens, Neoplasm
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Poly-ADP-Ribose Binding Proteins
  • Topoisomerase II Inhibitors
  • Etoposide
  • DNA Topoisomerases, Type II
  • TOP2A protein, human
  • Top2a protein, mouse