L-buthionine sulfoximine potentiates the antitumor effect of 4-hydroperoxycyclophosphamide when administered locally in a rat glioma model

Eric P. Sipos, Timothy F. Witham, Rajiv Ratan, Peter C. Burger, Jay Baraban, Khan W. Li, Steven Piantadosi, Henry Brem

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE: L-buthionine sulfoximine (BSO) inhibits glutathione synthesis and may modulate tumor resistance to some alkylating agents, but it has not been proven effective in the treatment of intracranial neoplasms. To evaluate this drug for the treatment of brain tumors, we studied the use of BSO for potentiating the antineoplastic effect of 4-hydroxyperoxycyclophosphamide (4-HC) in the rat 9L glioma model. METHODS: The survival of male Fischer 344 rats with intracranial 9L gliomas was measured after implantation of controlled-release polymers containing one of the following: no drug, BSO, 4-HC, or both BSO and 4-HC. The efficacy of intracranial 4-HC treatment was assessed with and without serial systemic intraperitoneal BSO injections. Tissue glutathione levels were measured in the brains, tumors, and livers of animals treated with intraperitoneal injections or local delivery of BSO. RESULTS: The median survival of animals treated with intracranial polymers containing 4-HC was 2.3 times greater than that of controls. This survival benefit was doubled by local delivery of BSO. In contrast, systemic BSO therapy did not improve survival time. In animals that were treated systemically, both liver and tumor glutathione levels were significantly lower than they were in control animals. In the locally treated animals, glutathione levels were reduced in the brain tumor but not in the liver. CONCLUSION: These results demonstrate that local but not systemic delivery of BSO enhances the antineoplastic effect of 4-HC in this rat 9L glioma model. In addition, because local delivery of BSO within the brain did not deplete glutathione levels systemically, this method of treatment may be safer than systemic administration of BSO.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)392-400
Number of pages9
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2001


  • 4-Hydroxyperoxycyclophosphamide
  • Biodegradable polymer
  • Buthionine sulfoximine
  • Drug delivery
  • Glutathione

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology


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