Medulloblastoma (MB) is the most common malignant pediatric brain tumor. MYC-driven MBs, commonly found in the group 3 MB, are aggressive and metastatic with the worst prognosis. Modeling MYC-driven MB is the foundation of therapeutic development. Here, we applied a synthetic mRNA-driven strategy to generate neuronal precursors from human-induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs). These neuronal precursors were transformed by the MYC oncogene combined with p53 loss of function to establish an MYC-driven MB model recapitulating the histologic and transcriptomic hallmarks of group 3 MB. We further show that the marine compound Frondoside A (FA) effectively inhibits this MYC-driven MB model without affecting isogenic neuronal precursors with undetectable MYC expression. Consistent results from a panel of MB models support that MYC levels are positively correlated with FA's antitumor potency. Next, we show that FA suppresses MYC expression and its downstream gene targets in MB cells, suggesting a potential mechanism underlying FA's inhibitory effects on MYC-driven cancers. In orthotopic xenografts of MYC-driven MB, intratumoral FA administration potently induces cytotoxicity in tumor xenografts, significantly extends the survival of tumor-bearing animals, and enhances the recruitment of microglia/macrophages and cytotoxic T lymphocytes to tumors. Moreover, we show that MYC levels also predict FA potency in glioblastoma and non–small cell lung cancer cells. Taken together, this study provides an efficient human iPSC-based strategy for personalizable cancer modeling, widely applicable to mechanistic studies (e.g., genetic predisposition to cancer) and drug discovery. Our preclinical results justify the clinical translation of FA in treating MYC-driven MB and other human cancers.

You do not currently have access to this content.