Local delivery of rapamycin: A toxicity and efficacy study in an experimental malignant glioma model in rats

Betty Tyler, Scott Wadsworth, Violette Recinos, Vivek Mehta, Ananth Vellimana, Khan Li, Joel Rosenblatt, Hiep Do, Gary L. Gallia, I. Mei Siu, Robert T. Wicks, Michelle A. Rudek, Ming Zhao, Henry Brem

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Rapamycin, an anti-proliferative agent, is effective in the treatment of renal cell carcinoma and recurrent breast cancers. We proposed that this potent mammalian target of rapamycin inhibitor may be useful for the treatment of gliomas as well. We examined the cytotoxicity of rapamycin against a rodent glioma cell line, determined the toxicity of rapamycin when delivered intracranially, and investigated the efficacy of local delivery of rapamycin for the treatment of experimental malignant glioma in vivo. We also examined the dose-dependent efficacy of rapamycin and the effect when locally delivered rapamycin was combined with radiation therapy. Rapamycin was cytotoxic to 9L cells, causing 34% growth inhibition at a concentration of 0.01 μg/ mL. No in vivo toxicity was observed when rapamycin was incorporated into biodegradable caprolactone-glycolide (35:65) polymer beads at 0.3%, 3%, and 30% loading doses and implanted intracranially. Three separate efficacy studies were performed to test the reproducibility of the effect of the rapamycin beads as well as the validity of this treatment approach. Animals treated with the highest dose of rapamycin beads tested (30%) consistently demonstrated significantly longer survival durations than the control and placebo groups. All doseescalating rapamycin bead treatment groups (0.3%, 3% and 30%), treated both concurrently with tumor and in a delayed manner after tumor placement, experienced a significant increase in survival, compared with controls. Radiation therapy in addition to the simultaneous treatment with 30% rapamycin beads led to significantly longer survival duration than either therapy alone. These results suggest that the local delivery of rapamycin for the treatment of gliomas should be further investigated.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)700-709
Number of pages10
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Glioma
  • Local delivery
  • Rapamycin
  • Sirolimus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cancer Research


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