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Intratumoural Heterogeneity Underlies Distinct Therapy Responses and Treatment Resistance in Glioblastoma

Glioblastomas are the most common and lethal neoplasms of the central nervous system. Neighbouring glioma cells maintain extreme degrees of genetic and phenotypic variation that forms intratumoural heterogeneity. This genetic diversity allows the most adaptive tumour clones to show treatment resistance and conserve the tumour bulk. We aimed to model this phenomenon and test the effectiveness of several targeted therapeutic interventions to overcome therapy resistance. Heterogenic tumour masses were first deconstructed into single tumour cells, which were expanded independently as single-cell clones. SNP arrays, whole-genome and RNA sequencing, and CpG methylation analysis validated the unique molecular profile of each tumour clone, which displayed distinct pathologic features, including cell morphology, growth rate, and resistance to temozolomide and ionizing radiation. We also identified variable sensitivities to AURK, CDK, and EGFR inhibitors, consistent with the heterogenic molecular alterations that each clone harboured. These targeted therapies effectively eliminated the temozolomide- and/or irradiation-resistant clones and also parental polyclonal cells. Our findings indicate that polyclonal tumours create a dynamic environment that consists of diverse tumour elements and treatment responses. Designing targeted therapies based on a range of molecular profiles can be a more effective strategy to eradicate treatment resistance, recurrence, and metastasis.

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Dataset ID Description Technology Samples
EGAD00001004773 20
Publications Citations
Intratumoural Heterogeneity Underlies Distinct Therapy Responses and Treatment Resistance in Glioblastoma.
Cancers (Basel) 11: 2019 E190
Generalising uncertainty improves accuracy and safety of deep learning analytics applied to oncology.
Sci Rep 13: 2023 7395