Oncology letters

Temozolomide in combination with metformin act synergistically to inhibit proliferation and expansion of glioma stem-like cells.

PMID 27073554


Glioblastoma is the most common and most aggressive brain tumor in adults. The introduction of temozolomide (TMZ) has advanced chemotherapy for malignant gliomas, but it is not curative. The difficulties in treating glioblastoma may be as a result of the presence of glioma stem cells (GSCs), which are a source of relapse and chemoresistance. Another reason may be that endogenous Akt kinase activity may be activated in response to clinically relevant concentrations of TMZ. Akt activation is correlated with the increased tumorigenicity, invasiveness and stemness of cancer cells and overexpression of an active form of Akt increases glioma cell resistance to TMZ. Mounting evidence has demonstrated that cancer stem cells are preferentially sensitive to an inhibitor of Akt and down-regulation of the PI3K/Akt pathway may enhance the cytotoxicity of TMZ. Metformin (MET), the first-line drug for treating diabetes, it has been proved that it reduces AKT activation and selectively kills cancer stem cells, but whether it can potentiate the cytotoxicity of TMZ for GSCs remains unknown. In the present study, the GSCs isolated from human glioma cell line U87 and Rat glioma cell line C6,