AANS Neurosurgeon | Volume 26, Number 3, 2017

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Areas of Glioblastoma Tumors Correlate with Separate Subtypes of Glioma Stem Cells, Respond Better to Combination Treatment

Andrew Sloan, MD, of University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center, senior co-author of new report in Nature Medicine

A new study demonstrates, for the first time, that glioblastoma (GBM), the most common and most lethal brain tumor, is driven by two distinct subsets of cancer stem cells.  Moreover, each subtype of glioma stem cells is driven by distinct transcriptional programs for growth and treatment resistance, and these different cell populations correspond to well-known morphological differences within the GBM itself. 

More importantly, the researchers found that while chemotherapeutic agents targeting each subtype achieve modest efficacy alone, they are synergistic when combined as demonstrated in a mouse model.

Senior co-author of the study, Andrew Sloan, MD, Medical Director, Brain Tumor and Neuro-Oncology Center at University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center observed that GBMs typically have two radiologically distinct regions on MRI:  The enhancing mass and the necrotic core. 

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