The effects of palbociclib in combination with radiation in preclinical models of aggressive meningioma

Craig Horbinski*, Guifa Xi, Yufen Wang, Rintaro Hashizume, Mahesh Gopalakrishnan, Joanna J. Phillips, Peter Houghton, Charles D. James, John A. Kalapurakal

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Background. Meningiomas are the most common tumor arising within the cranium of adults. Despite surgical resection and radiotherapy, many meningiomas invade the brain, and many recur, often repeatedly. To date, no chemotherapy has proven effective against such tumors. Thus, there is an urgent need for chemotherapeutic options for treating meningiomas, especially those that enhance radiotherapy. Palbociclib is an inhibitor of cyclindependent kinases 4 and 6 that has been shown to enhance radiotherapy in preclinical models of other cancers, is well-tolerated in patients, and is used to treat malignancies elsewhere in the body. We, therefore, sought to determine its therapeutic potential in preclinical models of meningioma. Methods. Patient-derived meningioma cells were tested in vitro and in vivo with combinations of palbociclib and radiation. Outputs included cell viability, apoptosis, clonogenicity, engrafted mouse survival, and analysis of engrafted tumor tissues after therapy. Results. We found that palbociclib was highly potent against p16-deficient, Rb-intact CH157 and IOMM-Lee meningioma cells in vitro, but was ineffective against p16-intact, Rb-deficient SF8295 meningioma cells. Palbociclib also enhanced the in vitro efficacy of radiotherapy when used against p16-deficient meningioma, as indicated by cell viability and clonogenic assays. In vivo, the combination of palbociclib and radiation extended the survival of mice bearing orthotopic p16 deficient meningioma xenografts, relative to each as a monotherapy. Conclusions. These data suggest that palbociclib could be repurposed to treat patients with p16- deficient, Rb-intact meningiomas, and that a clinical trial in combination with radiation therapy merits consideration.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbervdab085
JournalNeuro-Oncology Advances
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2021


  • Meningioma
  • palbociclib
  • radiation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Oncology
  • Surgery


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