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- Member of: ASU Scholarship Showcase
- Member of: Faculty and Staff
Tumor Metabolism, the Ketogenic Diet, and β-Hydroxybutyrate: Novel Approaches to Adjuvant Brain Tumor Therapy
Malignant brain tumors are devastating despite aggressive treatments such as surgical resection, chemotherapy and radiation therapy. The average life expectancy of patients with newly diagnosed glioblastoma is approximately ~18 months. It is clear that increased survival of brain tumor patients requires the design of new therapeutic modalities, especially those that enhance currently available treatments and/or limit tumor growth. One novel therapeutic arena is the metabolic dysregulation that results in an increased need for glucose in tumor cells. This phenomenon suggests that a reduction in tumor growth could be achieved by decreasing glucose availability, which can be accomplished through pharmacological means or through the use of a high-fat, low-carbohydrate ketogenic diet (KD). The KD, as the name implies, also provides increased blood ketones to support the energy needs of normal tissues. Preclinical work from a number of laboratories has shown that the KD does indeed reduce tumor growth in vivo. In addition, the KD has been shown to reduce angiogenesis, inflammation, peri-tumoral edema, migration and invasion. Furthermore, this diet can enhance the activity of radiation and chemotherapy in a mouse model of glioma, thus increasing survival. Additional studies in vitro have indicated that increasing ketones such as β-hydroxybutyrate (βHB) in the absence of glucose reduction can also inhibit cell growth and potentiate the effects of chemotherapy and radiation. Thus, while we are only beginning to understand the pluripotent mechanisms through which the KD affects tumor growth and response to conventional therapies, the emerging data provide strong support for the use of a KD in the treatment of malignant gliomas. This has led to a limited number of clinical trials investigating the use of a KD in patients with primary and recurrent glioma.
The Ketogenic Diet Alters the Hypoxic Response and Affects Expression of Proteins Associated With Angiogenesis, Invasive Potential, and Vascular Permeability in a Mouse Glioma Model
Background: The successful treatment of malignant gliomas remains a challenge despite the current standard of care, which consists of surgery, radiation and temozolomide. Advances in the survival of brain cancer patients require the design of new therapeutic approaches that take advantage of common phenotypes such as the altered metabolism found in cancer cells. It has therefore been postulated that the high-fat, low-carbohydrate, adequate protein ketogenic diet (KD) may be useful in the treatment of brain tumors. We have demonstrated that the KD enhances survival and potentiates standard therapy in a mouse model of malignant glioma, yet the mechanisms are not fully understood.
Methods: To explore the effects of the KD on various aspects of tumor growth and progression, we used the immunocompetent, syngeneic GL261-Luc2 mouse model of malignant glioma.
Results: Tumors from animals maintained on KD showed reduced expression of the hypoxia marker carbonic anhydrase 9, hypoxia inducible factor 1-alpha, and decreased activation of nuclear factor kappa B. Additionally, tumors from animals maintained on KD had reduced tumor microvasculature and decreased expression of vascular endothelial growth factor receptor 2, matrix metalloproteinase-2 and vimentin. Peritumoral edema was significantly reduced in animals fed the KD and protein analyses showed altered expression of zona occludens-1 and aquaporin-4.
Conclusions: The KD directly or indirectly alters the expression of several proteins involved in malignant progression and may be a useful tool for the treatment of gliomas.
Immunosignaturing shows promise as a general approach to diagnosis. It has been shown to detect immunological signs of infection early during the course of disease and to distinguish Alzheimer’s disease from healthy controls. Here we test whether immunosignatures correspond to clinical classifications of disease using samples from people with brain tumors. Blood samples from patients undergoing craniotomies for therapeutically naïve brain tumors with diagnoses of astrocytoma (23 samples), Glioblastoma multiforme (22 samples), mixed oligodendroglioma/astrocytoma (16 samples), oligodendroglioma (18 samples), and 34 otherwise healthy controls were tested by immunosignature. Because samples were taken prior to adjuvant therapy, they are unlikely to be perturbed by non-cancer related affects. The immunosignaturing platform distinguished not only brain cancer from controls, but also pathologically important features about the tumor including type, grade, and the presence or absence of O6-methyl-guanine-DNA methyltransferase methylation promoter (MGMT), an important biomarker that predicts response to temozolomide in Glioblastoma multiformae patients.
Background: Glioblastoma multiforme is a highly aggressive brain tumor with a poor prognosis, and advances in treatment have led to only marginal increases in overall survival. We and others have shown previously that the therapeutic ketogenic diet (KD) prolongs survival in mouse models of glioma, explained by both direct tumor growth inhibition and suppression of pro-inflammatory microenvironment conditions. The aim of this study is to assess the effects of the KD on the glioma reactive immune response.
Methods: The GL261-Luc2 intracranial mouse model of glioma was used to investigate the effects of the KD on the tumor-specific immune response. Tumor-infiltrating CD8+ T cells, CD4+ T cells and natural killer (NK) cells were analyzed by flow cytometry. The expression of immune inhibitory receptors cytotoxic T-lymphocyte-associated protein 4 (CTLA-4) and programmed death 1 (PD-1) on CD8+ T cells were also analyzed by flow cytometry. Analysis of intracellular cytokine production was used to determine production of IFN, IL-2 and IFN- in tumor-infiltrating CD8+ T and natural killer (NK) cells and IL-10 production by T regulatory cells.
Results: We demonstrate that mice fed the KD had increased tumor-reactive innate and adaptive immune responses, including increased cytokine production and cytolysis via tumor-reactive CD8+ T cells. Additionally, we saw that mice maintained on the KD had increased CD4 infiltration, while T regulatory cell numbers stayed consistent. Lastly, mice fed the KD had a significant reduction in immune inhibitory receptor expression as well as decreased inhibitory ligand expression on glioma cells.
Conclusions: The KD may work in part as an immune adjuvant, boosting tumor-reactive immune responses in the microenvironment by alleviating immune suppression. This evidence suggests that the KD increases tumor-reactive immune responses, and may have implications in combinational treatment approaches.
Combination Immunotherapy with α-CTLA-4 and α-PD-L1 Antibody Blockade Prevents Immune Escape and Leads to Complete Control of Metastatic Osteosarcoma
Background: Osteosarcoma is one of the most common bone cancers in children. Most patients with metastatic osteosarcoma die of pulmonary disease and limited curative therapeutic options exist for such patients. We have previously shown that PD-1 limits the efficacy of CTL to mediate immune control of metastatic osteosarcoma in the K7M2 mouse model of pulmonary metastatic disease and that blockade of PD-1/PD-L1 interactions can partially improve survival outcomes by enhancing the function of osteosarcoma-specific CTL. However, PD-1/PD-L1 blockade-treated mice eventually succumb to disease due to selection of PD-L1 mAb-resistant tumor cells. We investigated the mechanism of tumor cell resistance after blockade, and additional combinational therapies to combat resistance.
Methods: We used an implantable model of metastatic osteosarcoma, and evaluated survival using a Log-rank test. Cellular analysis of the tumor was done post-mortem with flow cytometry staining, and evaluated using a T-test to compare treatment groups.
Results: We show here that T cells infiltrating PD-L1 antibody-resistant tumors upregulate additional inhibitory receptors, notably CTLA-4, which impair their ability to mediate tumor rejection. Based on these results we have tested combination immunotherapy with α-CTLA-4 and α-PD-L1 antibody blockade in the K7M2 mouse model of metastatic osteosarcoma and show that this results in complete control of tumors in a majority of mice as well as immunity to further tumor inoculation.
Conclusions: Thus, combinational immunotherapy approaches to block additional inhibitory pathways in patients with metastatic osteosarcoma may provide new strategies to enhance tumor clearance and resistance to disease.
Osteosarcoma is the most common bone cancer in children and adolescents. Although 70% of patients with localized disease are cured with chemotherapy and surgical resection, patients with metastatic osteosarcoma are typically refractory to treatment. Numerous lines of evidence suggest that cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs) limit the development of metastatic osteosarcoma. We have investigated the role of PD-1, an inhibitory TNFR family protein expressed on CTLs, in limiting the efficacy of immune-mediated control of metastatic osteosarcoma. We show that human metastatic, but not primary, osteosarcoma tumors express a ligand for PD-1 (PD-L1) and that tumor-infiltrating CTLs express PD-1, suggesting this pathway may limit CTLs control of metastatic osteosarcoma in patients. PD-L1 is also expressed on the K7M2 osteosarcoma tumor cell line that establishes metastases in mice, and PD-1 is expressed on tumor-infiltrating CTLs during disease progression. Blockade of PD-1/PD-L1 interactions dramatically improves the function of osteosarcoma-reactive CTLs in vitro and in vivo, and results in decreased tumor burden and increased survival in the K7M2 mouse model of metastatic osteosarcoma. Our results suggest that blockade of PD-1/PD-L1 interactions in patients with metastatic osteosarcoma should be pursued as a therapeutic strategy.