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Cancers 2014, 6(1), 226-239; doi:10.3390/cancers6010226
Review

Glioblastoma Multiforme: A Look Inside Its Heterogeneous Nature

1,†,* , 1,†
 and
1,2
1 Translational Research Program, Vall d'Hebron Institute of Oncology (VHIO), Vall d'Hebron University Hospital, 119-129 Passeig Vall d'Hebron, Barcelona 08035, Spain 2 Catalan Institution of Research and Advanced Studies (ICREA), Barcelona 08035, Spain These authors contributed equally to this work.
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 1 November 2013 / Revised: 23 December 2013 / Accepted: 9 January 2014 / Published: 27 January 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Glioblastoma)
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Abstract

Heterogeneity is a hallmark of tumors and has a crucial role in the outcome of the malignancy, because it not only confounds diagnosis, but also challenges the design of effective therapies. There are two types of heterogeneity: inter-tumor and intra-tumor heterogeneity. While inter-tumor heterogeneity has been studied widely, intra-tumor heterogeneity has been neglected even though numerous studies support this aspect of tumor pathobiology. The main reason has been the technical difficulties, but with new advances in single-cell technology, intra-tumor heterogeneity is becoming a key area in the study of cancer. Several models try to explain the origin and maintenance of intra-tumor heterogeneity, however, one prominent model compares cancer with a tree where the ubiquitous mutations compose the trunk and mutations present in subpopulations of cells are represented by the branches. In this review we will focus on the intra-tumor heterogeneity of glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), the most common brain tumor in adults that is characterized by a marked heterogeneity at the cellular and molecular levels. Better understanding of this heterogeneity will be essential to design effective therapies against this devastating disease to avoid tumor escape.
Keywords: heterogeneity; glioblastoma; clonal evolution; cancer stem cell heterogeneity; glioblastoma; clonal evolution; cancer stem cell
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Inda, M.-D.-M.; Bonavia, R.; Seoane, J. Glioblastoma Multiforme: A Look Inside Its Heterogeneous Nature. Cancers 2014, 6, 226-239.

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