Therapeutic efficacy of the topoisomerase I inhibitor 7-ethyl-10-(4-[1-piperidino]-1-piperidino)-carbonyloxy-camptothecin against pediatric and adult central nervous system tumor xenografts

Cancer Chemother Pharmacol. 1997;39(3):187-91. doi: 10.1007/s002800050558.


Therapy of patients with malignant central nervous system tumors is frequently unsuccessful, reflecting limitations of current surgical, radiotherapeutic, and pharmacotherapeutic treatments. The camptothecin derivative irinotecan (CPT-11) has been shown to possess antitumor activity in phase II trials for patients with carcinoma of the lung, cervix, ovary, colon, or rectum and for patients with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. The current study was designed to test the efficacy of the drug against a panel of human tumor xenografts derived from adult and pediatric central nervous system malignancies. Tumors included childhood high-grade gliomas (D-212 MG, D-456 MG), adult high-grade gliomas (D-54 MG, D-245 MG), medulloblastomas (D341 Med, D487 Med), ependymomas (D528 EP, D612 EP), and a rhabdomyosarcoma (TE-671), as well as sublines with demonstrated resistance to busulfan (D-456 MG (BR)), cyclophosphamide (TE-671 CR), procarbazine (D-245 MG (PR)) or melphalan (TE-671 MR), growing subcutaneously and intracranially in athymic nude mice. In replicate experiments, CPT-11 was given at a dosage of 40 mg/kg per dose via intraperitoneal injection in 10% dimethylsulfoxide on days 1-5 and 8-12, which is the dosage lethal to 10% of treated animals. CPT-11 produced statistically significant (P < 0.001) growth delays in all subcutaneous xenografts tested, including those resistant to busulfan, cyclophosphamide, procarbazine, and melphalan, with growth delays ranging from 21.3 days in D487 Med to 90+ days in several tumor lines. Further, tumor regression was evident in every treated animal bearing a subcutaneous tumor, with some xenografts yielding complete tumor regression. Statistically significant (P < 0.001) increases in survival were demonstrated in the two intracranial xenografts-D341 EP (73.0% increase) and D-456 MG (114.2% increase)-treated with CPT-11. These studies demonstrate that, of over 40 drugs evaluated in this laboratory, CPT-11 is the most active against central nervous system xenografts and should be advanced to clinical trial as soon as possible.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Animals
  • Antineoplastic Agents, Phytogenic / therapeutic use*
  • Brain Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Camptothecin / analogs & derivatives*
  • Camptothecin / therapeutic use
  • Child
  • Drug Screening Assays, Antitumor
  • Humans
  • Irinotecan
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Mice, Nude
  • Topoisomerase I Inhibitors
  • Transplantation, Heterologous
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured


  • Antineoplastic Agents, Phytogenic
  • Topoisomerase I Inhibitors
  • Irinotecan
  • Camptothecin