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Concept: Glioblastoma multiforme

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Glioma, including anaplastic astrocytoma and glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) are among the most commonly diagnosed malignant adult brain tumors. GBM is a highly invasive and angiogenic tumor, resulting in a 12 to 15 months median survival. The treatment of GBM is multimodal and includes surgical resection, followed by adjuvant radio-and chemotherapy. We have previously reported that short-term starvation (STS) enhances the therapeutic index of chemo-treatments by differentially protecting normal cells against and/or sensitizing tumor cells to chemotoxicity.

Concepts: Cancer, Oncology, Chemotherapy, Glioma, Brain tumor, Astrocytoma, Glioblastoma multiforme, Temozolomide

170

Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is a malignant primary brain tumor with a mean survival of 15 months with the current standard of care. Genetic profiling efforts have identified the amplification, overexpression, and mutation of the wild-type (wt) epidermal growth factor receptor tyrosine kinase (EGFR) in ∼50% of GBM patients. The genetic aberration of wtEGFR is frequently accompanied by the overexpression of a mutant EGFR known as EGFR variant III (EGFRvIII, de2-7EGFR, ΔEGFR), which is expressed in 30% of GBM tumors. The molecular mechanisms of tumorigenesis driven by EGFRvIII overexpression in human tumors have not been fully elucidated. To identify specific therapeutic targets for EGFRvIII driven tumors, it is important to gather a broad understanding of EGFRvIII specific signaling. Here, we have characterized signaling through the quantitative analysis of protein expression and tyrosine phosphorylation across a panel of glioblastoma tumor xenografts established from patient surgical specimens expressing wtEGFR or overexpressing wtEGFR (wtEGFR+) or EGFRvIII (EGFRvIII+). S100A10 (p11), major vault protein, guanylate-binding protein 1(GBP1), and carbonic anhydrase III (CAIII) were identified to have significantly increased expression in EGFRvIII expressing xenograft tumors relative to wtEGFR xenograft tumors. Increased expression of these four individual proteins was found to be correlated with poor survival in patients with GBM; the combination of these four proteins represents a prognostic signature for poor survival in gliomas. Integration of protein expression and phosphorylation data has uncovered significant heterogeneity among the various tumors and has highlighted several novel pathways, related to EGFR trafficking, activated in glioblastoma. The pathways and proteins identified in these tumor xenografts represent potential therapeutic targets for this disease.

Concepts: DNA, Gene, Cancer, Signal transduction, Epidermal growth factor receptor, Hormone, Brain tumor, Glioblastoma multiforme

137

Surgery for brain cancer is a major problem in neurosurgery. The diffuse infiltration into the surrounding normal brain by these tumors makes their accurate identification by the naked eye difficult. Since surgery is the common treatment for brain cancer, an accurate radical resection of the tumor leads to improved survival rates for patients. However, the identification of the tumor boundaries during surgery is challenging. Hyperspectral imaging is a non-contact, non-ionizing and non-invasive technique suitable for medical diagnosis. This study presents the development of a novel classification method taking into account the spatial and spectral characteristics of the hyperspectral images to help neurosurgeons to accurately determine the tumor boundaries in surgical-time during the resection, avoiding excessive excision of normal tissue or unintentionally leaving residual tumor. The algorithm proposed in this study to approach an efficient solution consists of a hybrid framework that combines both supervised and unsupervised machine learning methods. Firstly, a supervised pixel-wise classification using a Support Vector Machine classifier is performed. The generated classification map is spatially homogenized using a one-band representation of the HS cube, employing the Fixed Reference t-Stochastic Neighbors Embedding dimensional reduction algorithm, and performing a K-Nearest Neighbors filtering. The information generated by the supervised stage is combined with a segmentation map obtained via unsupervised clustering employing a Hierarchical K-Means algorithm. The fusion is performed using a majority voting approach that associates each cluster with a certain class. To evaluate the proposed approach, five hyperspectral images of surface of the brain affected by glioblastoma tumor in vivo from five different patients have been used. The final classification maps obtained have been analyzed and validated by specialists. These preliminary results are promising, obtaining an accurate delineation of the tumor area.

Concepts: Cancer, Oncology, Surgery, Brain tumor, Machine learning, Glioblastoma multiforme, Statistical classification, Unsupervised learning

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Glioblastoma multiforme is the most common primary malignant brain tumour, with a median survival of about one year. This poor prognosis is due to therapeutic resistance and tumour recurrence after surgical removal. Precisely how recurrence occurs is unknown. Using a genetically engineered mouse model of glioma, here we identify a subset of endogenous tumour cells that are the source of new tumour cells after the drug temozolomide (TMZ) is administered to transiently arrest tumour growth. A nestin-ΔTK-IRES-GFP (Nes-ΔTK-GFP) transgene that labels quiescent subventricular zone adult neural stem cells also labels a subset of endogenous glioma tumour cells. On arrest of tumour cell proliferation with TMZ, pulse-chase experiments demonstrate a tumour re-growth cell hierarchy originating with the Nes-ΔTK-GFP transgene subpopulation. Ablation of the GFP+ cells with chronic ganciclovir administration significantly arrested tumour growth, and combined TMZ and ganciclovir treatment impeded tumour development. Thus, a relatively quiescent subset of endogenous glioma cells, with properties similar to those proposed for cancer stem cells, is responsible for sustaining long-term tumour growth through the production of transient populations of highly proliferative cells.

Concepts: Cancer, Oncology, Stem cell, Glioma, Brain tumor, Astrocytoma, Glioblastoma multiforme, Temozolomide

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Glioblastoma multiforme is an aggressive, invasive brain tumour with a poor survival rate. Available treatments are ineffective and some tumours remain inoperable because of their size or location. The tumours are known to invade and migrate along white matter tracts and blood vessels. Here, we exploit this characteristic of glioblastoma multiforme by engineering aligned polycaprolactone (PCL)-based nanofibres for tumour cells to invade and, hence, guide cells away from the primary tumour site to an extracortical location. This extracortial sink is a cyclopamine drug-conjugated, collagen-based hydrogel. When aligned PCL-nanofibre films in a PCL/polyurethane carrier conduit were inserted in the vicinity of an intracortical human U87MG glioblastoma xenograft, a significant number of human glioblastoma cells migrated along the aligned nanofibre films and underwent apoptosis in the extracortical hydrogel. Tumour volume in the brain was significantly lower following insertion of aligned nanofibre implants compared with the application of smooth fibres or no implants.

Concepts: Cancer, Oncology, Brain tumor, Tumor, Glioblastoma multiforme

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The brain tumor glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is among the most lethal forms of human cancer. Here, we report that a small subset of GBMs (3.1%; 3 of 97 tumors examined) harbors oncogenic chromosomal translocations that fuse in-frame the tyrosine kinase coding domains of fibroblast growth factor receptor (FGFR) genes (FGFR1 or FGFR3) to the transforming acidic coiled-coil (TACC) coding domains of TACC1 or TACC3, respectively. The FGFR-TACC fusion protein displays oncogenic activity when introduced into astrocytes or stereotactically transduced in the mouse brain. The fusion protein, which localizes to mitotic spindle poles, has constitutive kinase activity and induces mitotic and chromosomal segregation defects and triggers aneuploidy. Inhibition of FGFR kinase corrects the aneuploidy, and oral administration of an FGFR inhibitor prolongs survival of mice harboring intracranial FGFR3-TACC3-initiated glioma. FGFR-TACC fusions could potentially identify a subset of GBM patients who would benefit from targeted FGFR kinase inhibition.

Concepts: Protein, Gene, Cancer, Signal transduction, Brain tumor, Fibroblast growth factor, Glioblastoma multiforme

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Poor central nervous system penetration of cytotoxic drugs due to the blood brain barrier (BBB) is a major limiting factor in the treatment of brain tumors. Most recurrent glioblastomas (GBM) occur within the peritumoral region. In this study, we describe a hyperthemic method to induce temporary disruption of the peritumoral BBB that can potentially be used to enhance drug delivery.

Concepts: Central nervous system, Nervous system, Brain, Arthropod, Glioma, Brain tumor, Neurology, Glioblastoma multiforme

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Although blood-based liquid biopsies have emerged as a promising non-invasive method to detect biomarkers in various cancers, limited progress has been made for brain tumors. One major obstacle is the blood-brain barrier (BBB), which hinders efficient passage of tumor biomarkers into the peripheral circulation. The objective of this study was to determine whether FUS in combination with microbubbles can enhance the release of biomarkers from the brain tumor to the blood circulation. Two glioblastoma tumor models (U87 and GL261), developed by intracranial injection of respective enhanced green fluorescent protein (eGFP)-transduced glioblastoma cells, were treated by FUS in the presence of systemically injected microbubbles. Effect of FUS on plasma eGFP mRNA levels was determined using quantitative polymerase chain reaction. eGFP mRNA were only detectable in the FUS-treated U87 mice and undetectable in the untreated U87 mice (maximum cycle number set to 40). This finding was replicated in GL261 mice across three different acoustic pressures. The circulating levels of eGFP mRNA were 1,500-4,800 fold higher in the FUS-treated GL261 mice than that of the untreated mice for the three acoustic pressures. This study demonstrated the feasibility of FUS-enabled brain tumor liquid biopsies in two different murine glioma models across different acoustic pressures.

Concepts: DNA, Protein, Cancer, Brain, Blood, Brain tumor, Glioblastoma multiforme, Blood-brain barrier

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Glioblastoma multiforme is a devastating disease with no curative options due to the difficulty in achieving sufficient quantities of effective chemotherapies into the tumor past the blood-brain barrier. Micelles loaded with temozolomide (TMZ) were designed to increase the delivery of this drug into the brain.

Concepts: Epidermal growth factor receptor, Glioma, Brain tumor, Astrocytoma, Glioblastoma multiforme, Temozolomide

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In previous clinical trials, antiangiogenic therapies such as bevacizumab did not show efficacy in patients with newly diagnosed glioblastoma (GBM). This may be a result of the heterogeneity of GBM, which has a variety of imaging-based phenotypes and gene expression patterns. In this study, we sought to identify a phenotypic subtype of GBM patients who have distinct tumor-image features and molecular activities and who may benefit from antiangiogenic therapies.

Concepts: DNA, Gene, Gene expression, Evolution, Transcription, Molecular biology, Phenotype, Glioblastoma multiforme