MRI-localized biopsies reveal subtype-specific differences in molecular and cellular composition at the margins of glioblastoma

Brian J. Gill, David J. Pisapia, Hani R. Malone, Hannah Goldstein, Liang Lei, Adam Sonabend, Jonathan Yun, Jorge Samanamud, Jennifer S. Sims, Matei Banu, Athanassios Dovas, Andrew F. Teich, Sameer A. Sheth, Guy M. McKhann, Michael B. Sisti, Jeffrey N. Bruce*, Peter A. Sims, Peter Canoll

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

132 Scopus citations


Glioblastomas (GBMs) diffusely infiltrate the brain, making complete removal by surgical resection impossible. The mixture of neoplastic and nonneoplastic cells that remain after surgery form the biological context for adjuvant therapeutic intervention and recurrence. We performed RNA-sequencing (RNA-seq) and histological analysis on radiographically guided biopsies taken from different regions of GBM and showed that the tissue contained within the contrast-enhancing (CE) core of tumors have different cellular and molecular compositions compared with tissue from the nonenhancing (NE) margins of tumors. Comparisons with the The Cancer Genome Atlas dataset showed that the samples from CE regions resembled the proneural, classical, or mesenchymal subtypes of GBM, whereas the samples from the NE regions predominantly resembled the neural subtype. Computational deconvolution of the RNA-seq data revealed that contributions from nonneoplastic brain cells significantly influence the expression pattern in the NE samples. Gene ontology analysis showed that the cell type-specific expression patterns were functionally distinct and highly enriched in genes associated with the corresponding cell phenotypes. Comparing the RNA-seq data from the GBM samples to that of nonneoplastic brain revealed that the differentially expressed genes are distributed across multiple cell types. Notably, the patterns of cell type-specific alterations varied between the different GBM subtypes: the NE regions of proneural tumors were enriched in oligodendrocyte progenitor genes, whereas the NE regions of mesenchymal GBM were enriched in astrocytic and microglial genes. These subtype-specific patterns provide new insights into molecular and cellular composition of the infiltrative margins of GBM.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)12550-12555
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number34
StatePublished - Aug 26 2014


  • Glioma
  • Microenvironment
  • Tumor heterogeneity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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