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

Glioblastoma Multiforme: A Look Inside Its Heterogeneous Nature

Translational Research Program, Vall d'Hebron Institute of Oncology (VHIO), Vall d'Hebron University Hospital, 119-129 Passeig Vall d'Hebron, Barcelona 08035, Spain
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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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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