Imidazolyl Ethanamide Pentandioic Acid (IEPA) as Potential Radical Scavenger during Tumor Therapy in Human Hematopoietic Stem Cells

Radiochemotherapy-associated leuco- or thrombocytopenia is a common complication, e.g., in head and neck cancer (HNSCC) and glioblastoma (GBM) patients, often compromising treatments and outcomes. Currently, no sufficient prophylaxis for hematological toxicities is available. The antiviral compound imidazolyl ethanamide pentandioic acid (IEPA) has been shown to induce maturation and differentiation of hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells (HSPCs), resulting in reduced chemotherapy-associated cytopenia. In order for it to be a potential prophylaxis for radiochemotherapy-related hematologic toxicity in cancer patients, the tumor-protective effects of IEPA should be precluded. In this study, we investigated the combinatorial effects of IEPA with radio- and/or chemotherapy in human HNSCC and GBM tumor cell lines and HSPCs. Treatment with IEPA was followed by irradiation (IR) or chemotherapy (ChT; cisplatin, CIS; lomustine, CCNU; temozolomide, TMZ). Metabolic activity, apoptosis, proliferation, reactive oxygen species (ROS) induction, long-term survival, differentiation capacity, cytokine release, and DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) were measured. In tumor cells, IEPA dose-dependently diminished IR-induced ROS induction but did not affect the IR-induced changes in metabolic activity, proliferation, apoptosis, or cytokine release. In addition, IEPA showed no protective effect on the long-term survival of tumor cells after radio- or chemotherapy. In HSPCs, IEPA alone slightly enhanced CFU-GEMM and CFU-GM colony counts (2/2 donors). The IR- or ChT-induced decline of early progenitors could not be reversed by IEPA. Our data indicate that IEPA is a potential candidate for the prevention of hematologic toxicity in cancer treatment without affecting therapeutic benefits.


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