Brain Tumor Center @ MGH
Neurosurgery @ MGH
Research @ MGH Neurosurgery
incidence of primary malignant brain tumors such as Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM, WHO
grade IV (Figure 3)) is currently 8/100.000 persons per year and is still
increasing. In spite of immense efforts to improve the treatment modalities, the prognosis
of patients suffering from this disease remains extremely poor. The main reasons for this
grim outcome are rapid volumetric growth, extensive tumor cell heterogeneity, which
accelerates treatment resistance and especially the fact that long before the tumor is
diagnosed, it has already grossly invaded the surrounding brain parenchyma (Figure
4). Therefore, novel strategies for GBM treatment are needed and completely
different new and unconventional research approaches have to be encouraged.
[ click images for large versions ]
Shown is a NMR-scan (T1+) of a right frontal GBM tumor (1011 cells). The
hyperintense rim marks an area of hypermetabolism, which corresponds to the
"red" highly proliferative cell fraction in Figure 5.
Depicted is a multicellular tumor spheroid of an established
human high grade glioma cell line (104 cells) placed inside a specific
extracellular matrix gel. This novel 3D-Assay allows us to study key-features such as
proliferation and invasion of the tumor system in parallel. Note extensive invasive
branching starting from the proliferative focus (darkened central area).