• Elisabetta Mereu

New research reveals differences between glioblastoma core and invasive cells

Glioblastoma cell fate is differentially regulated by the microenvironments of the tumour bulk and infiltrative margin.

Glioblastoma recurrence originates from invasive cells at the tumour margin that escape surgical debulking, but their biology remains poorly understood. Here we generated three somatic mouse models recapitulating the main glioblastoma driver mutations to characterise margin cells. We find that, regardless of genetics, tumours converge on a common set of neural- like cellular states. However, bulk and margin display distinct neurogenic patterns and immune microenvironments. The margin is immune-cold and preferentially follows developmental-like trajectories to produce astrocyte-like cells. In contrast, injury-like programmes dominate in the bulk, are associated with immune infiltration and generate lowly-proliferative injured neural progenitor-like (iNPCs) cells. In vivo label-retention approaches further demonstrate that iNPCs account for a significant proportion of dormant glioblastoma cells and are induced by interferon signalling within T-cell niches. These findings indicate that tumour region is a major determinant of glioblastoma cell fate and therapeutic vulnerabilities identified in bulk may not extend to the margin residuum.

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