Optimising intratumoral treatment of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma models with the diterpene ester Tigilanol tiglate.


Drug Discovery Group, QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute, Locked Bag 2000, Post Office Royal Brisbane Hospital, Brisbane, Queensland, 4029, Australia. [Email]


The five-year survival rate for patients with head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) has remained at ~50% for the past 30 years despite advances in treatment. Tigilanol tiglate (TT, also known as EBC-46) is a novel diterpene ester that induces cell death in HNSCC in vitro and in mouse models, and has recently completed Phase I human clinical trials. The aim of this study was to optimise efficacy of TT treatment by altering different administration parameters. The tongue SCC cell line (SCC-15) was identified as the line with the lowest efficacy to treatment. Subcutaneous xenografts of SCC-15 cells were grown in BALB/c Foxn1nu and NOD/SCID mice and treated with intratumoral injection of 30 μg TT or a vehicle only control (40% propylene glycol (PG)). Greater efficacy of TT treatment was found in the BALB/c Foxn1nu mice compared to NOD/SCID mice. Immunohistochemical analysis indicated a potential role of the host's innate immune system in this difference, specifically neutrophil infiltration. Neither fractionated doses of TT nor the use of a different excipiant led to significantly increased efficacy. This study confirmed that TT in 40% PG given intratumorally as a single bolus dose was the most efficacious treatment for a tongue SCC mouse model.


Diterpene ester,EBC-46,Head and neck squamous cell carcinoma,Intratumoral injection,Protein kinase C,Tigilanol tiglate,