Research Papers:

The combined efficacy of OTS964 and temozolomide for reducing the size of power-law coded heterogeneous glioma stem cell populations

Michiya Sugimori _, Yumiko Hayakawa, Ryoi Tamura and Satoshi Kuroda

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Oncotarget. 2019; 10:2397-2415. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.26800

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Michiya Sugimori1,*, Yumiko Hayakawa2,*, Ryoi Tamura1 and Satoshi Kuroda2

1Department of Integrative Neuroscience, University of Toyama, Toyama, Toyama 930-0194, Japan

2Department of Neurosurgery, University of Toyama, Toyama, Toyama 930-0194, Japan

*These authors contributed equally to this work

Correspondence to:

Michiya Sugimori, email: [email protected]

Satoshi Kuroda, email: [email protected]

Keywords: glioma stem cell (GSC); glioma sphere (GS); OTS964; temozolomide; population size

Received: January 19, 2019     Accepted: March 04, 2019     Published: March 22, 2019


Glioblastoma resists chemotherapy then recurs as a fatal space-occupying lesion. To improve the prognosis, the issues of chemoresistance and tumor size should be addressed. Glioma stem cell (GSC) populations, a heterogeneous power-law coded population in glioblastoma, are believed to be responsible for the recurrence and progressive expansion of tumors. Thus, we propose a therapeutic strategy of reducing the initial size and controlling the regrowth of GSC populations which directly facilitates initial and long-term control of glioblastoma recurrence. In this study, we administered an anti-glioma/GSC drug temozolomide (TMZ) and OTS964, an inhibitor for T-Lak cell originated protein kinase, in combination (T&O), investigating whether together they efficiently and substantially shrink the initial size of power-law coded GSC populations and slow the long-term re-growth of drug-resistant GSC populations. We employed a detailed quantitative approach using clonal glioma sphere (GS) cultures, measuring sphere survivability and changes to growth during the self-renewal. T&O eliminated self-renewing GS clones and suppressed their growth. We also addressed whether T&O reduced the size of self-renewed GS populations. T&O quickly reduced the size of GS populations via efficient elimination of GS clones. The growth of the surviving T&O-resistant GS populations was continuously disturbed, leading to substantial long-term shrinkage of the self-renewed GS populations. Thus, T&O reduced the initial size of GS populations and suppressed their later regrowth. A combination therapy of TMZ and OTS964 would represent a novel therapeutic paradigm with the potential for long-term control of glioblastoma recurrence via immediate and sustained shrinkage of power-law coded heterogeneous GSC populations.

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