ResearchPad - glioma https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[A simple model for glioma grading based on texture analysis applied to conventional brain MRI]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_14716 Accuracy of glioma grading is fundamental for the diagnosis, treatment planning and prognosis of patients. The purpose of this work was to develop a low-cost and easy-to-implement classification model which distinguishes low-grade gliomas (LGGs) from high-grade gliomas (HGGs), through texture analysis applied to conventional brain MRI. Different combinations of MRI contrasts (T1Gd and T2) and one segmented glioma region (necrotic and non-enhancing tumor core, NCR/NET) were studied. Texture features obtained from the gray level size zone matrix (GLSZM) were calculated. An under-sampling method was proposed to divide the data into different training subsets and subsequently extract complementary information for the creation of distinct classification models. The sensitivity, specificity and accuracy of the models were calculated, and the best model explicitly reported. The best model included only three texture features and reached a sensitivity, specificity and accuracy of 94.12%, 88.24% and 91.18%, respectively. According to the features of the model, when the NCR/NET region was studied, HGGs had a more heterogeneous texture than LGGs in the T1Gd images, and LGGs had a more heterogeneous texture than HGGs in the T2 images. These novel results partially contrast with results from the literature. The best model proved to be useful for the classification of gliomas. Complementary results showed that the heterogeneity of gliomas depended on the MRI contrast studied. The chosen model stands out as a simple, low-cost, easy-to-implement, reproducible and highly accurate glioma classifier. Importantly, it should be accessible to populations with reduced economic and scientific resources.

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<![CDATA[Reply to: Letter to the Editor Regarding Anesthesia Management for Low-Grade Glioma Awake Surgery: A European Low-Grade Glioma Network Survey]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N3cd4faf8-6fbc-46db-853f-ed75de21cbf6 <![CDATA[Reference values of physiological 18F-FET uptake: Implications for brain tumor discrimination]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N80bdbd58-ef10-47b0-8bc3-8bde8c3b2b52

Purpose

The aim of this study was to derive reference values of 18F-fluoro-ethyl-L-tyrosine positron emission tomography (18F-FET-PET) uptake in normal brain and head structures to allow for differentiation from tumor tissue.

Materials and methods

We examined the datasets of 70 patients (median age 53 years, range 15–79), whose dynamic 18F-FET-PET was acquired between January 2016 and October 2017. Maximum standardized uptake value (SUVmax), target-to-background standardized uptake value ratio (TBR), and time activity curve (TAC) of the 18F-FET-PET were assessed in tumor tissue and in eight normal anatomic structures and compared using the t-test and Mann-Whitney U-test. Correlation analyses were performed using Pearson or Spearman coefficients, and comparisons between several variables with Pearson’s chi-squared tests and Kruskal-Wallis tests as well as the Benjamini-Hochberg correction.

Results

All analyzed structures showed an 18F-FET uptake higher than background (threshold: TBR > 1.5). The venous sinuses and cranial muscles exhibited a TBR of 2.03±0.46 (confidence interval (CI) 1.92–2.14), higher than the uptake of caudate nucleus, pineal gland, putamen, and thalamus (TBR 1.42±0.17, CI 1.38–1.47). SUVmax, TBR, and TAC showed no difference in the analyzed structures between subjects with high-grade gliomas and subjects with low-grade gliomas, except the SUVmax of the pineal gland (t-tests of the pineal gland: SUVmax: p = 0.022; TBR: p = 0.411). No significant differences were found for gender and age.

Conclusion

Normal brain tissue demonstrates increased 18F-FET uptake compared to background tissue. Two distinct clusters have been identified, comprising venous structures and gray matter with a reference uptake of up to SUVmax of 2.99 and 2.33, respectively.

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<![CDATA[Accuracy of the neurosurgeons estimation of extent of resection in glioblastoma]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/Ne5689d80-58ed-4cc1-8c8d-191dbc93c0de

Background

The surgeons’ estimate of the extent of resection (EOR) shows little accuracy in previous literature. Considering the developments in surgical techniques of glioblastoma (GBM) treatment, we hypothesize an improvement in this estimation. This study aims to compare the EOR estimated by the neurosurgeon with the EOR determined using volumetric analysis on the post-operative MR scan.

Methods

Pre- and post-operative tumor volumes were calculated through semi-automatic volumetric assessment by three observers. Interobserver agreement was measured using intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC). A univariate general linear model was used to study the factors influencing the accuracy of estimation of resection percentage.

Results

ICC was high for all three measurements: pre-operative tumor volume was 0.980 (0.969–0.987), post-operative tumor volume 0.974 (0.961–0.984), and EOR 0.947 (0.917–0.967). Estimation of EOR by the surgeon showed moderate accuracy and agreement. Multivariable analysis showed a statistically significant effect of operating neurosurgeon (p = 0.01), use of fluorescence (p < 0.001), and resection percentage (p < 0.001) on the accuracy of the EOR estimation.

Conclusion

All measurements through semi-automatic volumetric analysis show a high interobserver agreement, suggesting this to be a reliable assessment of EOR. We found a moderate reliability of the surgeons’ estimate of EOR. Therefore, (early) post-operative MRI scanning for evaluation of EOR remains paramount.

Electronic supplementary material

The online version of this article (10.1007/s00701-019-04089-8) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

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<![CDATA[Golgin-160 and GMAP210 play an important role in U251 cells migration and invasion initiated by GDNF]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c59feb7d5eed0c484135327

Gliomas are the most common malignant tumors of the brain and are characteristic of severe migration and invasion. Glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) promotes glioma development process. However, the regulatory mechanisms of promoting occurrence and development of glioma have not yet been clearly elucidated. In the present study, the mechanism by which GDNF promotes glioma cell migration and invasion through regulating the dispersion and location of the Golgi apparatus (GA) is described. Following GDNF treatment, a change in the volume and position of GA was observed. The stack area of the GA was enlarged and it was more concentrated near the nucleus. Golgin-160 and Golgi microtubule-associated protein 210 (GMAP210) were identified as target molecules regulating GA positioning. In the absence of either golgin-160 or GMAP210 using lentivirus, the migration and invasion of U251 cells were decreased, while it was increased following GDNF. It was also found that the GA was decreased in size and dispersed following golgin-160 or GMAP210 knockdown, as determined by GA green fluorescence assay. Once GDNF was added, the above phenomenon would be twisted, and the concentrated location and volume of the GA was restored. In combination, the present data suggested that the regulation of the position and size of the GA by golgin-160 and GMAP210 play an important role in U251 cell migration and invasion.

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<![CDATA[A novel radiological classification system for cerebral gliomas: The Brain-Grid]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c536b82d5eed0c484a48bc8

Purpose

Standard radiological/topographical classifications of gliomas often do not reflect the real extension of the tumor within the lobar-cortical anatomy. Furthermore, these systems do not provide information on the relationship between tumor growth and the subcortical white matter architecture. We propose the use of an anatomically standardized grid system (the Brain-Grid) to merge serial morphological magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans with a representative tractographic atlas. Two illustrative cases are presented to show the potential advantages of this classification system.

Methods

MRI scans of 39 patients (WHO grade II and III gliomas) were analyzed with a standardized grid created by intersecting longitudinal lines on the axial, sagittal, and coronal planes. The anatomical landmarks were chosen from an average brain, spatially normalized to the Montreal Neurological Institute (MNI) space and the Talairach space. Major white matter pathways were reconstructed with a deterministic tracking algorithm on a reference atlas and analyzed using the Brain-Grid system.

Results

In all, 48 brain grid voxels (areas defined by 3 coordinates, axial (A), coronal (C), sagittal (S) and numbers from 1 to 4) were delineated in each MRI sequence and on the tractographic atlas. The number of grid voxels infiltrated was consistent, also in the MNI space. The sub-cortical insula/basal ganglia (A3-C2-S2) and the fronto-insular region (A3-C2-S1) were most frequently involved. The inferior fronto-occipital fasciculus, anterior thalamic radiation, uncinate fasciculus, and external capsule were the most frequently associated pathways in both hemispheres.

Conclusions

The Brain-Grid based classification system provides an accurate observational tool in all patients with suspected gliomas, based on the comparison of grid voxels on a morphological MRI and segmented white matter atlas. Important biological information on tumor kinetics including extension, speed, and preferential direction of progression can be observed and even predicted with this system. This novel classification can easily be applied to both prospective and retrospective cohorts of patients and increase our comprehension of glioma behavior.

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<![CDATA[Preparation and characterization of size-controlled glioma spheroids using agarose hydrogel microwells]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c536990d5eed0c484a45f62

Treatment of glioblastoma, the most common and aggressive type of primary brain tumors, is a major medical challenge and the development of new alternatives requires simple yet realistic models for these tumors. In vitro spheroid models offer attractive platforms to mimic the tumor behavior in vivo and have thus, been increasingly applied for assessment of drug efficacy in various tumors. The aim of this study was to produce and characterize size-controlled U251 glioma spheroids towards application in glioma drug evaluation studies. To this end, we fabricated agarose hydrogel microwells with cylindrical shape and diameters of 70–700 μm and applied these wells without any surface modification for glioma spheroid formation. The resultant spheroids were homogeneous in size and shape, exhibited high cell viability (> 90%), and had a similar growth rate to that of natural brain tumors. The final size of spheroids depended on cell seeding density and microwell size. The spheroids’ volume increased linearly with the cell seeding density and the rate of this change increased with the well size. Lastly, we tested the therapeutic effect of an anti-cancer drug, Di-2-pyridylketone-4,4-dimethyl-3-thiosemicarbazone (Dp44mT) on the resultant glioma spheroids and demonstrated the applicability of this spheroid model for drug efficacy studies.

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<![CDATA[Use of statins or NSAIDs and survival of patients with high-grade glioma]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c0ed763d5eed0c484f14054

Background

High-grade glioma (HGG) is associated with a limited prognosis. Drug repurposing has become of increasing interest to improve standard therapy. Statins and NSAIDs inhibit glioma cell growth in vitro and in vivo, but data on statin and NSAID treatment in relation to survival of patients with HGG are sparse.

Methods

We performed multivariable adjusted Cox-regression analyses among 1,093 patients with HGG from a regional cancer registry to obtain Hazard Ratios (HRs) with 95% Confidence Intervals (CIs) for overall survival (OS) and progression-free survival (PFS) according to treatment with statins or NSAIDs. Data on dose and duration of treatment was mostly lacking in our analysis, therefore we were not able to perform dose-response analyses.

Results

Use of statins was unrelated to OS or PFS of glioma patients. Use of aspirin was associated with prolonged OS and PFS in patients with WHO grade III, but not WHO grade IV glioma. Use of other NSAIDs (diclofenac, ibuprofen) or non-NSAID analgesics (paracetamol) was mostly unrelated to survival of glioma patients. Use of selective COX-2 inhibitors and metamizol was related to inferior patient survival in parts of the analyses.

Conclusions

Use of statins or NSAIDS, including aspirin, was not associated with prolonged OS or PFS of patients with WHO grade IV glioma in our selected cohort. There was an indication for improved survival in patients with WHO grade III glioma using aspirin, but further studies are needed to confirm our first observation.

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<![CDATA[Analysis of single nucleotide variants of HFE gene and association to survival in The Cancer Genome Atlas GBM data]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db52ab0ee8fa60bdc727

Human hemochromatosis protein (HFE) is involved in iron metabolism. Two major HFE polymorphisms, H63D and C282Y, have been associated with an increased risk of cancers. Previously, we reported decreased gender effects in overall survival based on H63D or C282Y HFE polymorphisms patients with glioblastoma multiforme (GBM). However, the effect of other single nucleotide variation (SNV) in the HFE gene on the cancer development and progression has not been systematically studied. To expand our finding in a larger sample, and to identify other HFE SNV, we analyzed the frequency of somatic SNV in HFE gene and its relationship to survival in GBM patients using The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) GBM (Caucasian only) database. We found 9 SNVs with increased frequency in blood normal of TCGA GBM patients compared to the 1000Genome. Among 9 SNVs, 7 SNVs were located in the intron and 2 SNVs (i.e., H63D, C282Y) in the exon of HFE gene. The statistical analysis demonstrated that blood normal samples of TCGA GBM have more H63D (p = 0.0002, 95% Confidence interval (CI): 0.2119–0.3223) or C282Y (p = 0.0129, 95% CI: 0.0474–0.1159) HFE polymorphisms than 1000Genome. The Kaplan-Meier survival curve for the 264 GBM samples revealed no difference between wild type (WT) HFE and H63D, and WT HFE and C282Y GBM patients. In addition, there was no difference in the survival of male/female GBM patients based on HFE genotype. There was no correlation between HFE expression and survival. In conclusion, the current results suggest that somatic HFE polymorphisms do not impact GBM patients’ survival in the TCGA data set of GBM.

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<![CDATA[A Simplified Approach for the Molecular Classification of Glioblastomas]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db03ab0ee8fa60bc753e

Glioblastoma (GBM) is the most common malignant primary brain tumors in adults and exhibit striking aggressiveness. Although GBM constitute a single histological entity, they exhibit considerable variability in biological behavior, resulting in significant differences in terms of prognosis and response to treatment. In an attempt to better understand the biology of GBM, many groups have performed high-scale profiling studies based on gene or protein expression. These studies have revealed the existence of several GBM subtypes. Although there remains to be a clear consensus, two to four major subtypes have been identified. Interestingly, these different subtypes are associated with both differential prognoses and responses to therapy. In the present study, we investigated an alternative immunohistochemistry (IHC)-based approach to achieve a molecular classification for GBM. For this purpose, a cohort of 100 surgical GBM samples was retrospectively evaluated by immunohistochemical analysis of EGFR, PDGFRA and p53. The quantitative analysis of these immunostainings allowed us to identify the following two GBM subtypes: the “Classical-like” (CL) subtype, characterized by EGFR-positive and p53- and PDGFRA-negative staining and the “Proneural-like” (PNL) subtype, characterized by p53- and/or PDGFRA-positive staining. This classification represents an independent prognostic factor in terms of overall survival compared to age, extent of resection and adjuvant treatment, with a significantly longer survival associated with the PNL subtype. Moreover, these two GBM subtypes exhibited different responses to chemotherapy. The addition of temozolomide to conventional radiotherapy significantly improved the survival of patients belonging to the CL subtype, but it did not affect the survival of patients belonging to the PNL subtype. We have thus shown that it is possible to differentiate between different clinically relevant subtypes of GBM by using IHC-based profiling, a method that is advantageous in its ease of daily implementation and in large-scale clinical application.

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<![CDATA[Sphingosine Kinase 1 Regulates the Akt/FOXO3a/Bim Pathway and Contributes to Apoptosis Resistance in Glioma Cells]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989daf2ab0ee8fa60bc183d

The aim of this study was to investigate the mechanism through which Sphingosine kinase-1 (SPHK1) exerts its anti-apoptosis activity in glioma cancer cells. We here report that dysregulation of SPHK1 alters the sensitivity of glioma to apoptosis both in vitro and in vivo. Further mechanistic study examined the expression of Bcl-2 family members, including Bcl-2, Mcl-1, Bax and Bim, in SPHK1-overexpressing glioma cells and revealed that only pro-apoptotic Bim was downregulated by SPHK1. Moreover, the transcriptional level of Bim was also altered by SPHK1 in glioma cells. We next confirmed the correlation between SPHK1 and Bim expression in primary glioma specimens. Importantly, increasing SPHK1 expression in glioma cells markedly elevated Akt activity and phosphorylated inactivation of FOXO3a, which led to downregulation of Bim. A pharmacological approach showed that these effects of SPHK1 were dependent on phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K). Furthermore, effects of SPHK1 on Akt/FOXO3a/Bim pathway could be reversed by SPHK1 specific RNA interference or SPHK1 inhibitor. Collectively, our results indicate that regulation of the Akt/FOXO3a/Bim pathway may be a novel mechanism by which SPHK1 protects glioma cells from apoptosis, thereby involved in glioma tumorigenesis.

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<![CDATA[Consensus Micro RNAs Governing the Switch of Dormant Tumors to the Fast-Growing Angiogenic Phenotype]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da06ab0ee8fa60b75f60

Tumor dormancy refers to a critical stage in cancer development in which tumor cells remain occult for a prolonged period of time until they eventually progress and become clinically apparent. We previously showed that the switch of dormant tumors to fast-growth is angiogenesis dependent and requires a stable transcriptional reprogramming in tumor cells. Considering microRNAs (miRs) as master regulators of transcriptome, we sought to investigate their role in the control of tumor dormancy. We report here the identification of a consensus set of 19 miRs that govern the phenotypic switch of human dormant breast carcinoma, glioblastoma, osteosarcoma, and liposarcoma tumors to fast-growth. Loss of expression of dormancy-associated miRs (DmiRs, 16/19) was the prevailing regulation pattern correlating with the switch of dormant tumors to fast-growth. The expression pattern of two DmiRs (miR-580 and 190) was confirmed to correlate with disease stage in human glioma specimens. Reconstitution of a single DmiR (miR-580, 588 or 190) led to phenotypic reversal of fast-growing angiogenic tumors towards prolonged tumor dormancy. Of note, 60% of angiogenic glioblastoma and 100% of angiogenic osteosarcoma over-expressing miR190 remained dormant during the entire observation period of ∼ 120 days. Next, the ability of DmiRs to regulate angiogenesis and dormancy-associated genes was evaluated. Transcriptional reprogramming of tumors via DmiR-580, 588 or 190 over-expression resulted in downregulation of pro-angiogenic factors such as TIMP-3, bFGF and TGFalpha. In addition, a G-CSF independent downregulation of Bv8 was found as a common target of all three DmiRs and correlated with decreased tumor recruitment of bone marrow-derived CD11b+ Gr-1+ myeloid cells. In contrast, antiangiogenic and dormancy promoting pathways such as EphA5 and Angiomotin were upregulated in DmiR over-expressing tumors. This work suggests novel means to reverse the malignant tumor phenotype into an asymptomatic dormant state and may provide promising targets for early detection or prevention of cancer.

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<![CDATA[Acquisition of Chemoresistance in Gliomas Is Associated with Increased Mitochondrial Coupling and Decreased ROS Production]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da8cab0ee8fa60b9e57f

Temozolomide (TMZ) is an alkylating agent used for treating gliomas. Chemoresistance is a severe limitation to TMZ therapy; there is a critical need to understand the underlying mechanisms that determine tumor response to TMZ. We recently reported that chemoresistance to TMZ is related to a remodeling of the entire electron transport chain, with significant increases in the activity of complexes II/III and cytochrome c oxidase (CcO). Moreover, pharmacologic and genetic manipulation of CcO reverses chemoresistance. Therefore, to test the hypothesis that TMZ-resistance arises from tighter mitochondrial coupling and decreased production of reactive oxygen species (ROS), we have assessed mitochondrial function in TMZ-sensitive and -resistant glioma cells, and in TMZ-resistant glioblastoma multiform (GBM) xenograft lines (xenolines). Maximum ADP-stimulated (state 3) rates of mitochondrial oxygen consumption were greater in TMZ-resistant cells and xenolines, and basal respiration (state 2), proton leak (state 4), and mitochondrial ROS production were significantly lower in TMZ-resistant cells. Furthermore, TMZ-resistant cells consumed less glucose and produced less lactic acid. Chemoresistant cells were insensitive to the oxidative stress induced by TMZ and hydrogen peroxide challenges, but treatment with the oxidant L-buthionine-S,R-sulfoximine increased TMZ-dependent ROS generation and reversed chemoresistance. Importantly, treatment with the antioxidant N-acetyl-cysteine inhibited TMZ-dependent ROS generation in chemosensitive cells, preventing TMZ toxicity. Finally, we found that mitochondrial DNA-depleted cells (ρ°) were resistant to TMZ and had lower intracellular ROS levels after TMZ exposure compared with parental cells. Repopulation of ρ° cells with mitochondria restored ROS production and sensitivity to TMZ. Taken together, our results indicate that chemoresistance to TMZ is linked to tighter mitochondrial coupling and low ROS production, and suggest a novel mitochondrial ROS-dependent mechanism underlying TMZ-chemoresistance in glioma. Thus, perturbation of mitochondrial functions and changes in redox status might constitute a novel strategy for sensitizing glioma cells to therapeutic approaches.

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<![CDATA[Combined Efficacy of Cediranib and Quinacrine in Glioma Is Enhanced by Hypoxia and Causally Linked to Autophagic Vacuole Accumulation]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da11ab0ee8fa60b79bbc

We have previously reported that the in vivo anti-glioma efficacy of the anti-angiogenic receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitor cediranib is substantially enhanced via combination with the late-stage autophagy inhibitor quinacrine. The current study investigates the role of hypoxia and autophagy in combined cediranib/quinacrine efficacy. EF5 immunostaining revealed a prevalence of hypoxia in mouse intracranial 4C8 glioma, consistent with high-grade glioma. MTS cell viability assays using 4C8 glioma cells revealed that hypoxia potentiated the efficacy of combined cediranib/quinacrine: cell viability reductions induced by 1 µM cediranib +2.5 µM quinacrine were 78±7% (hypoxia) vs. 31±3% (normoxia), p<0.05. Apoptosis was markedly increased for cediranib/quinacrine/hypoxia versus all other groups. Autophagic vacuole biomarker LC3-II increased robustly in response to cediranib, quinacrine, or hypoxia. Combined cediranib/quinacrine increased LC3-II further, with the largest increases occurring with combined cediranib/quinacrine/hypoxia. Early stage autophagy inhibitor 3-MA prevented LC3-II accumulation with combined cediranib/quinacrine/hypoxia and substantially attenuated the associated reduction in cell viability. Combined efficacy of cediranib with bafilomycin A1, another late-stage autophagy inhibitor, was additive but lacked substantial potentiation by hypoxia. Substantially lower LC3-II accumulation was observed with bafilomycin A1 in comparison to quinacrine. Cediranib and quinacrine each strongly inhibited Akt phosphoryation, while bafilomycin A1 had no effect. Our results provide compelling evidence that autophagic vacuole accumulation plays a causal role in the anti-glioma cytotoxic efficacy of combined cediranib/quinacrine. Such accumulation is likely related to stimulation of autophagosome induction by hypoxia, which is prevalent in the glioma tumor microenvironment, as well as Akt signaling inhibition from both cediranib and quinacrine. Quinacrine's unique ability to inhibit both Akt and autophagic vacuole degradation may enhance its ability to drive cytotoxic autophagic vacuole accumulation. These findings provide a rationale for a clinical evaluation of combined cediranib/quinacrine therapy for malignant glioma.

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<![CDATA[Relation between Established Glioma Risk Variants and DNA Methylation in the Tumor]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da46ab0ee8fa60b8bd22

Genome-wide association studies and candidate gene studies have identified several genetic variants that increase glioma risk. The majority of these variants are non-coding and the mechanisms behind the increased risk in carriers are not known. In this study, we hypothesize that some of the established glioma risk variants induce aberrant DNA methylation in the developing tumor, either locally (gene-specific) or globally (genome-wide). In a pilot data set including 77 glioma patients, we used Illumina beadchip technology to analyze genetic variants in blood and DNA methylation in matched tumor samples. To validate our findings, we used data from the Cancer Genome Atlas, including 401 glioblastoma patients. Consensus clustering identified the glioma CpG island methylator phenotype (gCIMP) and two additional subgroups with distinct patterns of global DNA methylation. In the pilot dataset, gCIMP was associated with two genetic variants in CDKN2B-AS1, rs1412829 and rs4977756 (9p21.3, p = 8.1 x 10−7 and 4.8 x 10−5, respectively). The association was in the same direction in the TCGA dataset, although statistically significant only when combining individuals with AG and GG genotypes. We also investigated the relation between glioma risk variants and DNA methylation in the promoter region of genes located within 30 kb of each variant. One association in the pilot dataset, between the TERT risk variant rs2736100 and lower methylation of cg23827991 (in TERT; p = 0.001), was confirmed in the TCGA dataset (p = 0.001). In conclusion, we found an association between rs1412829 and rs4977756 (9p21.3, CDKN2B-AS1) and global DNA methylation pattern in glioma, for which a trend was seen also in the TCGA glioblastoma dataset. We also found an association between rs2736100 (in TERT) and levels of methylation at cg23827991 (localized in the same gene, 3.3 kbp downstream of the risk variant), which was validated in the TCGA dataset. Except for this one association, we did not find strong evidence for gene-specific DNA methylation mediated by glioma risk variants.

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<![CDATA[Genetically engineered rat gliomas: PDGF-driven tumor initiation and progression in tv-a transgenic rats recreate key features of human brain cancer]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db52ab0ee8fa60bdc625

Previously rodent preclinical research in gliomas frequently involved implantation of cell lines such as C6 and 9L into the rat brain. More recently, mouse models have taken over, the genetic manipulability of the mouse allowing the creation of genetically accurate models outweighed the disadvantage of its smaller brain size that limited time allowed for tumor progression. Here we illustrate a method that allows glioma formation in the rat using the replication competent avian-like sarcoma (RCAS) virus / tumor virus receptor-A (tv-a) transgenic system of post-natal cell type-specific gene transfer. The RCAS/tv-a model has emerged as a particularly versatile and accurate modeling technology by enabling spatial, temporal, and cell type-specific control of individual gene transformations and providing de novo formed glial tumors with distinct molecular subtypes mirroring human GBM. Nestin promoter-driven tv-a (Ntv-a) transgenic Sprague-Dawley rat founder lines were created and RCAS PDGFA and p53 shRNA constructs were used to initiate intracranial brain tumor formation. Tumor formation and progression were confirmed and visualized by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and spectroscopy. The tumors were analyzed using histopathological and immunofluorescent techniques. All experimental animals developed large, heterogeneous brain tumors that closely resembled human GBM. Median survival was 92 days from tumor initiation and 62 days from the first point of tumor visualization on MRI. Each tumor-bearing animal showed time dependent evidence of malignant progression to high-grade glioma by MRI and neurological examination. Post-mortem tumor analysis demonstrated the presence of several key characteristics of human GBM, including high levels of tumor cell proliferation, pseudopalisading necrosis, microvascular proliferation, invasion of tumor cells into surrounding tissues, peri-tumoral reactive astrogliosis, lymphocyte infiltration, presence of numerous tumor-associated microglia- and bone marrow-derived macrophages, and the formation of stem-like cell niches within the tumor. This transgenic rat model may enable detailed interspecies comparisons of fundamental cancer pathways and clinically relevant experimental imaging procedures and interventions that are limited by the smaller size of the mouse brain.

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<![CDATA[DGKI Methylation Status Modulates the Prognostic Value of MGMT in Glioblastoma Patients Treated with Combined Radio-Chemotherapy with Temozolomide]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db0aab0ee8fa60bc9e0a

Background

Consistently reported prognostic factors for glioblastoma (GBM) are age, extent of surgery, performance status, IDH1 mutational status, and MGMT promoter methylation status. We aimed to integrate biological and clinical prognostic factors into a nomogram intended to predict the survival time of an individual GBM patient treated with a standard regimen. In a previous study we showed that the methylation status of the DGKI promoter identified patients with MGMT-methylated tumors that responded poorly to the standard regimen. We further evaluated the potential prognostic value of DGKI methylation status.

Methods

399 patients with newly diagnosed GBM and treated with a standard regimen were retrospectively included in this study. Survival modelling was performed on two patient populations: intention-to-treat population of all included patients (population 1) and MGMT-methylated patients (population 2). Cox proportional hazard models were fitted to identify the main prognostic factors. A nomogram was developed for population 1. The prognostic value of DGKI promoter methylation status was evaluated on population 1 and population 2.

Results

The nomogram-based stratification of the cohort identified two risk groups (high/low) with significantly different median survival. We validated the prognostic value of DGKI methylation status for MGMT-methylated patients. We also demonstrated that the DGKI methylation status identified 22% of poorly responding patients in the low-risk group defined by the nomogram.

Conclusions

Our results improve the conventional MGMT stratification of GBM patients receiving standard treatment. These results could help the interpretation of published or ongoing clinical trial outcomes and refine patient recruitment in the future.

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<![CDATA[Neuronal Transcription Factors Induce Conversion of Human Glioma Cells to Neurons and Inhibit Tumorigenesis]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da9bab0ee8fa60ba3976

Recent findings have demonstrated that the overexpression of lineage-specific transcription factors induces cell fate changes among diverse cell types. For example, neurons can be generated from mouse and human fibroblasts. It is well known that neurons are terminally differentiated cells that do not divide. Therefore, we consider how to induce glioma cells to become neurons by introducing transcription factors. Here, we describe the efficient generation of induced neuronal (iN) cells from glioma cells by the infection with three transcription factors: Ascl1, Brn2 and Ngn2 (ABN). iN cells expressed multiple neuronal markers and fired action potentials, similar to the properties of authentic neurons. Importantly, the proliferation of glioma cells following ABN overexpression was dramatically inhibited in both in vitro and in vivo experiments. In addition, iN cells that originated from human glioma cells did not continue to grow when they were sorted and cultured in vitro. The strategies by which glioma cells are induced to become neurons may be used to clinically study methods for inhibiting tumor growth.

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<![CDATA[Non-standard radiotherapy fractionations delay the time to malignant transformation of low-grade gliomas]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db5cab0ee8fa60be0263

Grade II gliomas are slowly growing primary brain tumors that affect mostly young patients. Cytotoxic therapies (radiotherapy and/or chemotherapy) are used initially only for patients having a bad prognosis. These therapies are planned following the “maximum dose in minimum time” principle, i. e. the same schedule used for high-grade brain tumors in spite of their very different behavior. These tumors transform after a variable time into high-grade gliomas, which significantly decreases the patient’s life expectancy. In this paper we study mathematical models describing the growth of grade II gliomas in response to radiotherapy. We find that protracted metronomic fractionations, i.e. therapeutical schedules enlarging the time interval between low-dose radiotherapy fractions, may lead to a better tumor control without an increase in toxicity. Other non-standard fractionations such as protracted or hypoprotracted schemes may also be beneficial. The potential survival improvement depends on the tumor’s proliferation rate and can be even of the order of years. A conservative metronomic scheme, still being a suboptimal treatment, delays the time to malignant progression by at least one year when compared to the standard scheme.

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<![CDATA[The role of myosin II in glioma invasion: A mathematical model]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db4fab0ee8fa60bdb876

Gliomas are malignant tumors that are commonly observed in primary brain cancer. Glioma cells migrate through a dense network of normal cells in microenvironment and spread long distances within brain. In this paper we present a two-dimensional multiscale model in which a glioma cell is surrounded by normal cells and its migration is controlled by cell-mechanical components in the microenvironment via the regulation of myosin II in response to chemoattractants. Our simulation results show that the myosin II plays a key role in the deformation of the cell nucleus as the glioma cell passes through the narrow intercellular space smaller than its nuclear diameter. We also demonstrate that the coordination of biochemical and mechanical components within the cell enables a glioma cell to take the mode of amoeboid migration. This study sheds lights on the understanding of glioma infiltration through the narrow intercellular spaces and may provide a potential approach for the development of anti-invasion strategies via the injection of chemoattractants for localization.

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