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01.12.2019 | Short report | Ausgabe 1/2019 Open Access

Radiation Oncology 1/2019

Radiosensitization of orthotopic GIC-driven glioblastoma by doxycycline causes skin damage

Radiation Oncology > Ausgabe 1/2019
Guido Frosina, Daniela Marubbi, Diana Marcello, Antonio Daga


Doxycycline (DXC) is a tetracycline antibiotic which has been proposed as a breast cancer radiosensitizer by specifically reducing the expression of the DNA repair enzyme DNA PK in breast cancer initiating cells. Since DXC presents favorable pharmacokinetics properties including the capacity to cross the blood-brain barrier, it has been hypothesized that it could radiosensitize brain tumors as well. We have investigated the radiosensitizing capacity of DXC towards human glioma initiating cells (GIC)-driven orthotopic glioblastomas (GB) in NOD/SCID mice that faithfully mimic the growth properties of the clinical tumors of origin. DXC at 10 mg/Kg body weight was subcutaneously delivered daily, 5 days/week for 4 weeks. At the same time, radiotherapeutic fractions of 0.25 Gy to the head were delivered every 3–4 days (twice/week) for 15 weeks. No survival advantage was observed in DXC-treated mice as compared to vehicle-treated mice by this radiosensitizing protocol. On the contrary, skin damage with hair loss and deep ulcers were observed after 4 weeks in DXC-treated mice leading to discontinuation of drug treatment. These results do not support the use of DXC as a radiosensitizer for brain tumors and indicate skin damage as an important side effect of DXC.
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