Systemic BCNU Enhances the Efficacy of Local Delivery of a Topoisomerase I Inhibitor Against Malignant Glioma

Cancer Chemotherapy and Pharmacology

October 4, 2004
Storm, P. B., V. M. Renard, J. L. Moriarity, B. Tyler, R. E. Wilentz, H. Brem, and J. D. Weingart




To investigate the ability of systemically delivered BCNU to enhance the activity of either systemically delivered irinotecan (CPT-11) or locally delivered camptothecin from a biodegradable polymer for treatment of an intracranial 9L gliosarcoma.


We used a single systemic dose of BCNU on treatment day 1 in combination with systemic doses of CPT-11 on treatment days 1-5 and 8-12 against an intracranial rat 9L gliosarcoma model implanted into female Fischer 344 rats. We also used the same systemic dose of BCNU given on treatment day 1, followed by a local dose of a 20% loaded camptothecin biodegradable polymer implanted on the same day.


Two doses of CPT-11 (10 and 60 mg/kg) were delivered systemically against intracranial 9L. Neither dose showed an increase in survival compared to controls ( P>0.2 for 10 mg/kg and P=0.17 for 60 mg/kg). Systemic delivery of CPT-11 (10 mg/kg per day) in combination with systemic BCNU (15 mg/kg) did not show a significant effect on survival compared to systemic BCNU alone ( P>0.2), even at the maximally tolerated systemic dose of CPT-11 (60 mg/kg per day; P=0.06). The combination of systemic BCNU (15 mg/kg) and intracranial delivery of camptothecin (20% loaded polymer), however, significantly extended survival compared to systemic BCNU alone ( P<0.001) and compared to intracranial delivery of camptothecin alone ( P=0.01).


In a 9L gliosarcoma model, systemic delivery of CPT-11 showed no benefit in survival when delivered alone or in combination with systemic BCNU, because CPT-11 is unable to cross the blood-brain barrier in cytotoxic levels. When cytotoxic levels of a topoisomerase I inhibitor are delivered directly to the brain tumor via a biodegradable polymer, however, the systemic delivery of the alkylating agent BCNU significantly enhances the antitumor effects of camptothecin in a 9L gliosarcoma model.