Radiation is one of the standard therapies for pediatric high-grade glioma (pHGG), of which the prognosis remains poor. To gain an in-depth understanding of the biological activities beyond the classic DNA damage, we treated 6 patient-derived orthotopic xenograft (PDOX) models, including one with DNA mismatch repair (MMR) deficiency, with fractionated radiations (2 Gy/day x 5 days). Extension of survival time was noted in 4/6 PDOX models (P<0.05) and widespread γH2AX positivity in >95% tumor cells in tumor core and >85% in the invasive foci, accompanied by ~30% apoptotic and mitotic catastrophic cell death. The model with DNA MMR (IC-1406HGG) was the most responsive to radiation with a reduction of Ki-67(+) cells. Altered metabolism, including mitochondria number elevation, COX IV activation and reactive oxygen species buildup, were detected together with the accumulation of CD133+ tumor cells. The latter was caused by the entry of quiescent G0 cells into cell cycle and the activation of self-renewal (SOX2 and BMI1) and epithelial mesenchymal transition (fibronectin) genes. These novel insights about the cellular and molecular mechanisms of fractionated radiation in vivo should support the development of new radio-sensitizing therapies.

Citation Format: Zi-Lu Huang, Zhi-Gang Liu, Qi Lin, Ya-Lan Tao, Xinzhuoyun Li, Patricia Baxter, Jack MF Su, Adekunle M. Adesina, Chris Man, Murali Chintagumpala, Wan Yee Teo, Yu-Chen Du, Yun-Fei Xia, Xiao-Nan Li. Fractionated radiation therapy alters energy metabolism and induces cellular quiescence exit in patient-derived orthotopic xenograft models of high-grade glioma [abstract]. In: Proceedings of the American Association for Cancer Research Annual Meeting 2024; Part 1 (Regular Abstracts); 2024 Apr 5-10; San Diego, CA. Philadelphia (PA): AACR; Cancer Res 2024;84(6_Suppl):Abstract nr 5113.