Glioblastoma Multiforme: A Look Inside Its Heterogeneous Nature

Maria-del-Mar Inda, Rudy Bonavia, Joan Seoane
2014 Cancers  
Heterogeneity is a hallmark of tumors and has a crucial role in the outcome of the malignancy, because it not only confounds diagnosis, but also challenges the design of effective therapies. There are two types of heterogeneity: inter-tumor and intra-tumor heterogeneity. While inter-tumor heterogeneity has been studied widely, intra-tumor heterogeneity has been neglected even though numerous studies support this aspect of tumor pathobiology. The main reason has been the technical difficulties,
more » ... ut with new advances in single-cell technology, intra-tumor heterogeneity is becoming a key area in the study of cancer. Several models try to explain the origin and maintenance of intra-tumor heterogeneity, however, one prominent model compares cancer with a tree where the ubiquitous mutations compose the trunk and mutations present in subpopulations of cells are represented by the branches. In this review we will focus on the intra-tumor heterogeneity of glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), the most common brain tumor in adults that is characterized by a marked heterogeneity at the cellular and molecular levels. Better understanding of this heterogeneity will be essential to design effective therapies against this devastating disease to avoid tumor escape.
doi:10.3390/cancers6010226 pmid:24473088 pmcid:PMC3980595 fatcat:vn4s5dxuinesdjhjpt434cxm4u