Hypoxia inducible factor (HIFs) signaling contributes to malignant cell behavior in glioblastoma (GBM). We investigated a novel HIF2α inhibitor, PT2385, both in vitro, with low-passage patient-derived cell lines, and in vivo, using orthotopic models of glioblastoma. We focused on analysis of HIF2α expression in situ, cell survival/proliferation, and survival in brain tumor-bearing mice treated with PT2385 alone and in combination with standard of care chemoradiotherapy. HIF2α expression increased with glioma grade, with over half of GBM specimens HIF2α positive. Staining clustered in perivascular and perinecrotic tumor regions. Cellular phenotype including proliferation, viability, migration/invasion, and also gene expression were not altered after PT2385 treatment. In the animal model, PT2385 single-agent treatment did improve median overall survival compared to placebo (p = 0.04, n = 21) without a bioluminescence correlate (t = 0.67, p = 0.52). No difference in animal survival was seen in combination treatment with radiation (RT)/temozolomide (TMZ)/PT2385 (p = 0.44, n = 10) or mean tumor bioluminescence (t 1.13, p = 0.32). We conclude that HIF2α is a reasonable novel therapeutic target as expressed in the majority of glioblastomas in our cohort. PT2385 as a single-agent was efficacious in vivo, however, an increase in animal survival was not seen with PT2385 in combination with RT/TMZ. Further study for targeting HIF2α as a therapeutic approach in GBM is warranted.
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