The glioblastoma microenvironment plays a substantial role in glioma biology. However, few studies have investigated its spatial heterogeneity. Exploiting 5-ALA Fluorescence Guided Surgery (FGS), we were able to distinguish between the tumor core (ALA+), infiltrating area (ALAPALE) and healthy tissue (ALA-) of the glioblastoma, based on the level of accumulated fluorescence. The aim of this study was to investigate the properties of the microenvironments associated with these regions. For this purpose, we isolated glioma-associated stem cells (GASC), resident in the glioma microenvironment, from ALA+, ALA-PALE and ALA-samples and compared them in terms of growth kinetic, phenotype and for the expression of 84 genes associated with cancer inflammation and immunity. Differentially expressed genes were correlated with transcriptomic datasets from TCGA/GTEX. Our results show that GASC derived from the three distinct regions, despite a similar phenotype, were characterized by different transcriptomic profiles. Moreover, we identified a GASC-based genetic signature predictive of overall survival and disease-free survival. This signature, highly expressed in ALA+ GASC, was also well represented in ALA PALE GASC. 5-ALA FGS allowed to underline the heterogeneity of the glioma microenvironments. Deepening knowledge of these differences can contribute to develop new adjuvant therapies targeting the crosstalk between tumor and its supporting microenvironment.
- 5-aminolevulinc acid
- Fluorescence guided surgery
- Glioblastoma microenvironment
- Glioma associated stem cells
- Tumor supporting signature