Intracranial Assessment of Androgen Receptor Antagonists in Mice Bearing Human Glioblastoma Implants

Nomi Zalcman, Liraz Larush, Haim Ovadia, Hanna Charbit, Shlomo Magdassi, Iris Lavon*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The median survival time of patients with an aggressive brain tumor, glioblastoma, is still poor due to ineffective treatment. The discovery of androgen receptor (AR) expression in 56% of cases offers a potential breakthrough. AR antagonists, including bicalutamide and enzalutamide, induce dose-dependent cell death in glioblastoma and glioblastoma-initiating cell lines (GIC). Oral enzalutamide at 20 mg/kg reduces subcutaneous human glioblastoma xenografts by 72% (p = 0.0027). We aimed to further investigate the efficacy of AR antagonists in intracranial models of human glioblastoma. In U87MG intracranial models, nude mice administered Xtandi (enzalutamide) at 20 mg/kg and 50 mg/kg demonstrated a significant improvement in survival compared to the control group (p = 0.24 and p < 0.001, respectively), confirming a dose–response relationship. Additionally, we developed a newly reformulated version of bicalutamide, named “soluble bicalutamide (Bic-sol)”, with a remarkable 1000-fold increase in solubility. This reformulation significantly enhanced bicalutamide levels within brain tissue, reaching 176% of the control formulation’s area under the curve. In the U87MG intracranial model, both 2 mg/kg and 4 mg/kg of Bic-sol exhibited significant efficacy compared to the vehicle-treated group (p = 0.0177 and p = 0.00364, respectively). Furthermore, combination therapy with 8 mg/kg Bic-sol and Temozolomide (TMZ) demonstrated superior efficacy compared to either Bic-sol or TMZ as monotherapies (p = 0.00706 and p = 0.0184, respectively). In the ZH-161 GIC mouse model, the group treated with 8 mg/kg Bic-sol as monotherapy had a significantly longer lifespan than the groups treated with TMZ or the vehicle (p < 0.001). Our study demonstrated the efficacy of androgen receptor antagonists in extending the lifespan of mice with intracranial human glioblastoma, suggesting a promising approach to enhance patient outcomes in the fight against this challenging disease.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number332
JournalInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences
Issue number1
StatePublished - 26 Dec 2023

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© 2023 by the authors.


  • androgen receptor (AR)
  • androgen receptor antagonists
  • bicalutamide
  • enzalutamide
  • glioblastoma


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