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Mughal, Awais A.; Zhang, Lili; Fayzullin, Artem; Server, Andres; Li, Yuping; Wu, Yingxi; Glass, Rainer; Meling, Torstein; Langmoen, Iver A.; Leergaard, Trygve B.; Vik-Mo, Einar O. (2018): Patterns of Invasive Growth in Malignant Gliomas-The Hippocampus Emerges as an Invasion-Spared Brain Region. In: Neoplasia, Vol. 20, No. 7: pp. 643-656
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BACKGROUND: Widespread infiltration of tumor cells into surrounding brain parenchyma is a hallmark of malignant gliomas, but little data exist on the overall invasion pattern of tumor cells throughout the brain. METHODS: We have studied the invasive phenotype of malignant gliomas in two invasive mouse models and patients. Tumor invasion patterns were characterized in a patient-derived xenograft mouse model using brain-wide histological analysis and magnetic resonance (MR) imaging. Findings were histologically validated in a cdkn2a -/- PDGF-beta lentivirus-induced mouse glioblastoma model. Clinical verification of the results was obtained by analysis of MR images of malignant gliomas. RESULTS: Histological analysis using human-specific cellular markers revealed invasive tumors with a non-radial invasion pattern. Tumors cells accumulated in structures located far from the transplant site, such as the optic white matter and pons, whereas certain adjacent regions were spared. As such, the hippocampus was remarkably free of infiltrating tumor cells despite the extensive invasion of surrounding regions. Similarly, MR images of xenografted mouse brains displayed tumors with bihemispheric pathology, while the hippocampi appeared relatively normal. In patients, most malignant temporal lobe gliomas were located lateral to the collateral sulcus. Despite widespread pathological fluid-attenuated inversion recovery signal in the temporal lobe, 74% of the "lateral tumors" did not show signs of involvement of the amygdalo-hippocampal complex. CONCLUSIONS: Our data provide clear evidence for a compartmental pattern of invasive growth in malignant gliomas. The observed invasion patterns suggest the presence of preferred migratory paths, as well as intra-parenchymal boundaries that may be difficult for glioma cells to traverse supporting the notion of compartmental growth. In both mice and human patients, the hippocampus appears to be a brain region that is less prone to tumor invasion.