Background: Myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs) are critical regulators of immunosuppression and radioresistance in glioblastoma (GBM). The primary objective of this pilot phase Ib study was to validate the on-Target effect of tadalafil on inhibiting MDSCs in peripheral blood and its safety when combined with chemoradiotherapy in GBM patients. Methods: Patients with newly diagnosed IDH-wild-Type GBM received radiation therapy (RT) and temozolomide (TMZ) combined with oral tadalafil for 2 months. A historical cohort of 12 GBM patients treated with RT and TMZ was used as the comparison group. The ratio of MDSCs, T cells, and cytokines at week 6 of RT compared to baseline were analyzed using flow cytometry. Progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS) were estimated by the Kaplan-Meier method. Results: Tadalafil was well tolerated with no dose-limiting toxicity among 16 evaluable patients. The tadalafil cohort had a significantly lower ratio of circulating MDSCs than the control: granulocytic-MDSCs (mean 0.78 versus 3.21, respectively, P=0.01) and monocytic-MDSCs (1.02 versus 1.96, respectively, P=0.006). Tadalafil increased the CD8 ratio compared to the control (1.99 versus 0.70, respectively, P<0.001), especially the PD-1-CD8 T cells expressing Ki-67, CD38, HLA-DR, CD28, and granzyme B. Proinflammatory cytokine IL-1β was also significantly increased after tadalafil compared to the control. The tadalafil cohort did not have significantly different PFS and OS than the historical control. Conclusions: Concurrent tadalafil is well tolerated during chemoradiotherapy for GBM. Tadalafil is associated with a reduction of peripheral MDSCs after chemoradiotherapy and increased CD8 T-cell proliferation and activation.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbervdad088
JournalNeuro-Oncology Advances
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2023


  • MDSC
  • glioblastoma
  • immunosuppression
  • radiotherapy
  • tadalafil


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