BACKGROUND: Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is the most malignant, aggressive and common form of primary brain cancer. currently, GBM is considered to be a homogenous mass as all its margins are treated equally at the time of resection. However, it is not known whether radiologically distinct regions of GBM are also distinct at molecular level. We conducted this study to see if radiologically distinct regions were also different at the molecular level. METHODS: In 20 patients, MRI derived variance known as Apparent Diffusion Coefficient (ADC) was plotted against Contrast Enhancement (CE). Four radiologically distinct regions were identified: 1) high ADC and low CE; 2) low ADC and low CE; 3) high ADC and high CE; and 4) low ADC and high CE. Biopsy samples were collected from these four regions of interest in each patient and immunohistochemistry was conducted to characterize cellular features and identify oncogene and stem cell marker expressing cells. RESULTS: Markedly increased nuclear pleomorphism, cellularity and necrosis were seen in region 2. oncogene IDH was expressed in all regions, however, it was highest in region 4. Stem cell marker, CD44 expression was highest in region 1 and lowest in region 2 and 3. The expression of cD133 was highest in region 3. CONDUSIONS: This study shows that ADc/cE plot can divide GBM into four regions, whose heterogeneity is evidenced by differential expression of nuclear pleomorphism, necrosis, cellularity and mitotic rate as well as the expression of oncogene and stem cell markers.
- Stem cells