Signal Transducer and Activator of Transcription 3 (STAT3) is a transcription factor and an oncogene product, which plays a pivotal role in tumor progression. Therefore, targeting persistent STAT3 signaling directly is an attractive anticancer strategy. The aim of this study is to test the efficacy of a novel STAT3 small molecule inhibitor, LLL12B, in suppressing medulloblastoma cells in vitro and tumor growth in vivo. LLL12B selectively inhibited the induction of STAT3 phosphorylation by interleukin-6 but not induction of STAT1 phosphorylation by INF-γ. LLL12B also induced apoptosis in human medulloblastoma cells. In addition, LLL12B exhibited good oral bioavailability in vivo and potent suppressive activity in tumor growth of medulloblastoma cells in vivo. Besides, combining LLL12B with cisplatin showed greater inhibition of cell viability and tumorsphere formation as well as induction of apoptosis comparing to single agent treatment in medulloblastoma cells. Furthermore, LLL12B and cisplatin combination exhibited greater suppression of medulloblastoma tumor growth than monotherapy in vivo. The present study supported that LLL12B is a novel therapeutic agent for medulloblastoma and the combination of LLL12B with a chemotherapeutic agent cisplatin may be an effective approach for medulloblastoma therapy.
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