Functional biological activity of sorafenib as a tumor-treating field sensitizer for glioblastoma therapy

Yunhui Jo, Eun Ho Kim, Sei Sai, Jin Su Kim, Jae Min Cho, Hyeongi Kim, Jeong Hwa Baek, Jeong Yub Kim, Sang Gu Hwang, Myonggeun Yoon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Citations (Scopus)


Glioblastoma, the most common primary brain tumor in adults, is an incurable malignancy with poor short-term survival and is typically treated with radiotherapy along with temozolomide. While the development of tumor-treating fields (TTFields), electric fields with alternating low and intermediate intensity has facilitated glioblastoma treatment, clinical outcomes of TTFields are reportedly inconsistent. However, combinatorial administration of chemotherapy with TTFields has proven effective for glioblastoma patients. Sorafenib, an anti-proliferative and apoptogenic agent, is used as first-line treatment for glioblastoma. This study aimed to investigate the effect of sorafenib on TTFields-induced anti-tumor and anti-angiogenesis responses in glioblastoma cells in vitro and in vivo. Sorafenib sensitized glioblastoma cells to TTFields, as evident from significantly decreased post-TTFields cell viability (p < 0.05), and combinatorial treatment with sorafenib and TTFields accelerated apoptosis via reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation, as evident from Poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP) cleavage. Furthermore, use of sorafenib plus TTFields increased autophagy, as evident from LC3 upregulation and autophagic vacuole formation. Cell cycle markers accumulated, and cells underwent a G2/M arrest, with an increased G0/G1 cell ratio. In addition, the combinatorial treatment significantly inhibited tumor cell motility and invasiveness, and angiogenesis. Our results suggest that combination therapy with sorafenib and TTFields is slightly better than each individual therapy and could potentially be used to treat glioblastoma in clinic, which requires further studies.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3684
JournalInternational journal of molecular sciences
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Nov


  • Glioblastoma
  • Sorafenib
  • Tumor-treating fields

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Molecular Biology
  • Spectroscopy
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry


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