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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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A 68-year-old man was diagnosed with glioblastoma multiforme of the right basal ganglia in March 2010. He was treated with radiotherapy and concurrent chemotherapy with daily temozolomide for over 6 weeks. During the maintenance phase of treatment with temozolomide, he developed a swelling in the left cheek; a biopsy of which proved to be non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. The temozolomide was stopped and the lymphoma was successfully treated with chemotherapy.

Concepts: Right-wing politics, Left-wing politics, Temozolomide, Glioblastoma multiforme, Cancer, Lymphoma, Basal ganglia

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Glioblastoma Multiforme (GBM) is an aggressive brain tumour with high resistance to radio- and chemotherapy. As such, increasing attention has focused on developing new therapeutic strategies to improve treatment responses. Recently, attention has been shifted to natural compounds that are able to halt tumour development. Among them, carnosol (CAR), a phenolic diterpene present in rosemary, has become a promising molecule that is able to prevent certain types of solid cancer. However, no data are available on the effects of CAR in GBM. Here, CAR activity decreased the proliferation of different human glioblastoma cell lines, particularly cells that express wild type p53. The p53 pathway is involved in the control of apoptosis and is often impaired in GBM. Notably, CAR, through the dissociation of p53 from its endogenous inhibitor MDM2, was able to increase the intracellular p53 levels in GBM cells. Accordingly, functional reactivation of p53 was demonstrated by the stimulation of p53 target genes' transcription, the induction of apoptosis and cell cycle blockade. Most importantly, CAR produced synergistic effects with Temozolomide (TMZ) and reduced the restoration of the tumour cells' proliferation after drug removal. Thus, for the first time, these data highlighted the potential use of diterpenes in the sensitization of GBM cells to chemotherapy through a direct re-activation of p53 pathway. Furthermore, progress has been made in delineating the biochemical mechanisms underlying the pro-apoptotic effects of this molecule.

Concepts: Gene, Cell cycle, DNA, Glioblastoma multiforme, Brain tumor, Oncology, P53, Cancer