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Cytotoxic and apoptotic effects of bortezomib and gefitinib compared to alk ylating agents on human glioblastoma cells
Stéphane Pédeboscq, Béatrice L’Azou, Isabelle Passagne, Francesca De Giorgi, François Ichas, Jean-Paul Pometan and Jean Cambar

Glioblastoma is a malignant astrocytic tumor with a median survival of about 12 months for which new therapeutic strategies are required. We therefore examined the cytotoxicity of anticancer drugs with different mechanisms of action on two human glioblastoma cell lines expressing various levels of EGFR (epidermal growth factor receptor). Apoptosis induced by these anticancer agents was evaluated by flow cytometry. The cytotoxicity of alkylating drugs followed a dose-effect curve and cytotoxicity index values were lower with carboplatin than with BCNU and temozolomide. Anti-EGFR gefitinib (10 μM) cytotoxicity on DBTRG.05-MG expressing high levels of EGFR was significantly higher than on U87-MG expressing low levels of EGFR. Carboplatin and temozolomide cytotoxicity was potentiated with the addition of gefitinib on DBTRG.05-MG. Among the anticancer agents tested, the proteasome inhibitor bortezomib was the most cytotoxic with very low IC50 on the two cell lines. Moreover, all anticancer drugs tested induced apoptosis in a concentration-dependent manner. Bortezomib proved to be a more potent inductor of apoptosis than gefitinib and alkylating agents. These results show the efficacy of bortezomib and of the association between conventional chemotherapy and gefitinib on glioblastoma cells and therefore suggest the interest of these molecules in the treatment of glioblastoma.

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