DNA and histone deacetylases as targets for neuroblastoma treatment
Neuroblastoma, a tumor of the peripheral sympathetic nervous system, is the most frequent solid extra cranial tumor in children and is a major cause of death from neoplasia in infancy. Still little improvement in therapeutic options has been made, requiring a need for the development of new therapies. In our laboratory, we address still unsettled questions, which of mechanisms of action of DNA-damaging drugs both currently use for treatment of human neuroblastomas (doxorubicin, cis-platin, cyclophosphamide and etoposide) and another anticancer agent decreasing growth of neuroblastomas in vitro, ellipticine, are predominant mechanism(s) responsible for their antitumor action in neuroblastoma cell lines in vitro. Because hypoxia frequently occurs in tumors and strongly correlates with advanced disease and poor outcome caused by chemoresistance, the effects of hypoxia on efficiencies and mechanisms of actions of these drugs in neuroblastomas are also investigated. Since the epigenetic structure of DNA and its lesions play a role in the origin of human neuroblastomas, pharmaceutical manipulation of the epigenome may offer other treatment options also for neuroblastomas. Therefore, the effects of histone deacetylase inhibitors on growth of neuroblastoma and combination of these compounds with doxorubicin, cis-platin, etoposide and ellipticine as well as mechanisms of such effects in human neuroblastona cell lines in vitro are also investigated. Such a study will increase our knowledge to explain the proper function of these drugs on the molecular level, which should be utilized for the development of new therapies for neuroblastomas.