Aurora B Kinase Inhibition by AZD1152 Concomitant with Tumor Treating Fields Is Effective in the Treatment of Cultures from Primary and Recurrent Glioblastomas

Research output: Contribution to journalResearch articleContributedpeer-review



Tumor Treating Fields (TTFields) were incorporated into the treatment of glioblastoma, the most malignant brain tumor, after showing an effect on progression-free and overall survival in a phase III clinical trial. The combination of TTFields and an antimitotic drug might further improve this approach. Here, we tested the combination of TTFields with AZD1152, an Aurora B kinase inhibitor, in primary cultures of newly diagnosed (ndGBM) and recurrent glioblastoma (rGBM). AZD1152 concentration was titrated for each cell line and 5–30 nM were used alone or in addition to TTFields (1.6 V/cm RMS; 200 kHz) applied for 72 h using the inovitro™ system. Cell morphological changes were visualized by conventional and confocal laser microscopy. The cytotoxic effects were determined by cell viability assays. Primary cultures of ndGBM and rGBM varied in p53 mutational status; ploidy; EGFR expression and MGMT-promoter methylation status. Nevertheless; in all primary cultures; a significant cytotoxic effect was found following TTFields treatment alone and in all but one, a significant effect after treatment with AZD1152 alone was also observed. Moreover, in all primary cultures the combined treatment had the most pronounced cytotoxic effect in parallel with morphological changes. The combined treatment of TTFields and AZD1152 led to a significant reduction in the number of ndGBM and rGBM cells compared to each treatment alone. Further evaluation of this approach, which has to be considered as a proof of concept, is warranted, before entering into early clinical trials.


Original languageEnglish
Article number5016
Number of pages17
JournalInternational journal of molecular sciences
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 6 Mar 2023

External IDs

PubMed 36902447
WOS 000947683100001
ORCID /0000-0002-5726-386X/work/142249127



  • Aurora B kinase, AZD1152, glioblastoma, primary cultures, TTFields, Aurora Kinase B/metabolism, Antineoplastic Agents/pharmacology, Humans, Glioblastoma, Neoplasm Recurrence, Local, Azd1152, Primary cultures