Background: Glioblastoma is the most frequent and malignant primary brain tumor. Even in the subgroup with O-6-methylguanine-DNA methyltransferase (MGMT) promoter methylation and favorable response to first-line therapy, survival after relapse is short (12 months). Standard therapy for recurrent MGMT-methylated glioblastoma is not standardized and may consist of re-resection, re-irradiation, and chemotherapy with temozolomide (TMZ), lomustine (CCNU), or a combination thereof. Preclinical results show that meclofenamate (MFA), originally developed as a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) and registered in the USA, sensitizes glioblastoma cells to temozolomide-induced toxicity via inhibition of gap junction-mediated intercellular cytosolic traffic and demolishment of tumor microtube (TM)-based network morphology. Methods: In this study, combined MFA/TMZ therapy will be administered (orally) in patients with first relapse of MGMT-methylated glioblastoma. A phase I component (6–12 patients, 2 dose levels of MFA + standard dose TMZ) evaluates safety and feasibility and determines the dose for the randomized phase II component (2 × 30 patients) with progression-free survival as the primary endpoint. Discussion: This study is set up to assess toxicity and first indications of efficacy of MFA repurposed in the setting of a very difficult-to-treat recurrent tumor. The trial is a logical next step after the identification of the role of resistance-providing TMs in glioblastoma, and results will be crucial for further trials targeting TMs. In case of favorable results, MFA may constitute the first clinically feasible TM-targeted drug and therefore might bridge the idea of a TM-targeted therapeutic approach from basic insights into clinical reality. Trial registration: EudraCT 2021-000708-39. Registered on 08 February 2021.
|Published - Dec 2022