Intratumoral genetic heterogeneity is a widely accepted characteristic of human cancer, including the most common primary malignant brain tumor, glioblastoma. However, the variability in biological behaviors amongst cells within individual tumors is not well described. Invasion into unaffected brain parenchyma is one such behavior, and a leading mechanism of tumor recurrence unaddressed by the current therapeutic armamentarium. Further, providing insight into variability of tumor cell migration within individual tumors may inform discovery of novel anti-invasive therapeutics. In this study, ex vivo organotypic slice cultures from EGFR-wild type and EGFR-amplified patient tumors were treated with the EGFR inhibitor gefitinib to evaluate potential sub-population restricted intratumoral drug-specific responses. High-resolution time-lapse microscopy and quantitative path tracking demonstrated migration of individual cells are punctuated by intermittent bursts of movement. Elevation of population aggregate mean speeds were driven by subpopulations of cells exhibiting frequent high-amplitude bursts, enriched within EGFR-amplified tumors. Treatment with gefitinib specifically targeted high-burst cell subpopulations only in EGFR-amplified tumors, decreasing bursting frequency and amplitude. We provide evidence of intratumoral subpopulations of cells with enhanced migratory behavior in human glioblastoma, selectively targeted via EGFR inhibition. These data justify use of direct human tumor slice cultures to investigate patient-specific therapies designed to limit tumor invasion.
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
Parker, Jonathon J; Canoll, Peter; Niswander, Lee; Kleinschmidt-DeMasters, B K; Foshay, Kara; and Waziri, Allen, "Intratumoral heterogeneity of endogenous tumor cell invasive behavior in human glioblastoma." (2018). Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology Faculty Contributions. 57.