Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science



First Advisor

Paul Dent


Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is the most common and malignant brain tumor in adults, affecting thousands of people worldwide every year, with a life expectancy, post diagnosis of 12 months. Surgery, radiotherapy and chemotherapy together, result in an overall mean survival not exceeding 15 months. Targeted therapeutic agents sorafenib, an oral multi kinase inhibitor, and lapatinib, an epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) inhibitor, used in combination have been shown to kill GBM cells be through inhibition of major growth mediating signaling pathways that are frequently over expressed in gliomas, including mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) and phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase/ protein kinase B (PI3K/AKT). Sorafenib can restore lapatinib induced cytotoxicity by down regulation of myeloid cell leukaemia-1 (Mcl-1) expression. Prior studies have shown Mcl-1 to play an important role in resistance to lapatinib. Furthermore, data indicated that this drug combination is able to trigger activation of autophagic and apoptotic pathways and induce endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress response in GBM cells, collectively resulting in cell death. In conclusion, data presented here demonstrates that the combination of sorafenib and lapatinib can kill GBM cells in a greater than additive fashion, through induction of autophagy, apoptotic events (extrinsic and intrinsic) and ER stress.


© The Author

Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission

December 2013