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Title: Combined radiotherapy and chemotherapy for high-grade brain tumours
Author: Barazzuol, Lara
ISNI:       0000 0004 2719 0318
Awarding Body: University of Surrey
Current Institution: University of Surrey
Date of Award: 2012
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Glioblastoma (GBM) is the most common primary brain tumour in adults and among the most aggressive of all tumours. For several decades, the standard care of GBM was surgical resection followed by radiotherapy alone. In 2005, a landmark phase III clinical trial coordinated by the European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC) and the National Cancer Institute of Canada (NCIC) demonstrated the benefit of radiotherapy with concomitant and adjuvant temozolomide (TMZ) chemotherapy. With TMZ, the median life expectancy in optimally managed patients is still only 12-14 months, with only 25% surviving 24 months. There is an urgent need for new therapies in particular in those patients whose tumour has an unmethylated methyl-guanine methyltransferase gene (MGMT) promoter, which is a predictive factor of benefit from TMZ. In this dissertation, the nature of the interaction between TMZ and radiation is investigated using both a mathematical model, based on in vivo population statistics of survival, and in vitro experimentation on a panel of human GBM cell lines. The results show that TMZ has an additive effect in vitro and that the population-based model may be insufficient in predicting TMZ response. The combination of TMZ with particle therapy is also investigated. Very little pre-clinical data exists on the effects of charged particles on GBM cell lines as well as on the concomitant application of chemotherapy. In this study, human GBM cells are exposed to 3 MeV protons and 6 MeV alpha particles in concomitance with TMZ. The results suggest that the radiation quality does not affect the nature of the interaction between TMZ and radiation, showing reproducible additive cytotoxicity. Since TMZ and radiation cause DNA damage in cancer cells, there has been increased attention to the use of poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP) inhibitors. PARP is a family of enzymes that play a key role in the repair of DNA breaks. In this study, a novel PARP inhibitor, ABT-888, is used in combination with both TMZ and radiation. The results show that ABT-888 significantly enhances TMZ and radiation cell killing, regardless of the MGMT status. In summary, the findings of this research demonstrate that the use of particle therapy and PARP inhibitors are particularly promising and might improve the treatment outcome in patients with GBM.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available