Effects of continuous localized infusion of granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor and inoculations of irradiated glioma cells on tumor regression.

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OBJECT: Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is a malignant tumor of the central nervous system that directly suppresses immunological defenses in vitro and in vivo. The authors used the peripheral delivery of continuously infused granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF) in the presence of irradiated tumor antigens as a tumor-specific stimulant to dendritic cells to initiate an immune response to GBM in rats.

METHODS: The 9L gliosarcoma tumors were established in the flanks of syngeneic Fischer 344 rats. Osmotic minipumps implanted in the animals' contralateral flanks continuously delivered recombinant GM-CSF (0, 0.1, 1, or 10 ng/day) for 28 days. Irradiated gliosarcoma cells were intermittently injected at the site of the GM-CSF infusion. Animals in the saline control group (0 ng/day GM-CSF) died on Day 59 with average tumor volumes greater than 30,000 mm3. This control group was significantly different from the GM-CSF-treated animals, which all survived with average tumor volumes that peaked on Day 23 and later regressed completely. Tumor growth as well as peak tumor volumes (5833+/-2284 mm3, 3294+/-1632 mm3, and 1979+/-1142 mm3 for 0.1, 1, and 10 ng/day GM-CSF, respectively) in the different treatment groups reflected a significant dose-response relationship with the GM-CSF concentrations. All animals treated with GM-CSF and irradiated cells were resistant to additional challenges of peripheral and intracerebral gliosarcoma, even when they were inoculated 8 months after initial immunotherapy. The colocalization of GM-CSF and inactivated tumor antigens was required to stimulate immunoprotection. To test the efficacy of a peripherally administered immunological therapy on intracerebral brain tumors the authors transplanted 10(6) gliosarcoma cells into the striatum of treated and control animals. Subcutaneous pumps that released GM-CSF (10 ng/day) and irradiated gliosarcoma cells were placed in the treated animals. The control animals all died within 31 days after intracerebral tumor implantation. In contrast, 40% of the animals receiving GM-CSF-irradiated cell vaccinations survived beyond 300 days. These long-term survivors showed no evidence of gliosarcoma at the injection site on evaluation by magnetic resonance imaging.

CONCLUSIONS: These results suggest that the continuous localized delivery of subcutaneous GM-CSF in conjunction with inactivated tumor antigens can initiate a systemic response that leads to the regression of distant peripheral and intracerebral tumors. The success of this treatment illustrates the feasibility of tumor-specific peripheral immunological stimulation after tumor resection to prevent the recurrence of malignant brain tumors.





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Medicine and Health Sciences




Department of Surgery

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