Glioblastoma (GBM) is the most aggressive and lethal type of brain cancer with a median survival of less than two years even following aggressive treatment (Stupp et al., N Engl J Med 352:987–996, 2005). Among the many challenges in treating patients with this devastating disease is the ability to differentiate Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) images that appear following radiation therapy, often termed “radiation necrosis” from true GBM recurrence. Radiation necrosis (RN) and GBM are very difficult to distinguish and currently only a brain biopsy can conclusively differentiate these pathologies. In the present study, we introduce a differential diagnostic approach using a newly identified Myeloid-Derived Suppressor Cell (MDSC) biomarker, vascular non-inflammatory molecule 2 (VNN2+), in combination with expression of traditional HLA-DR on peripheral blood CD14+ monocytes isolated from GBM and/or RN patients. We performed proof-of-principle experiments confirming the sensitivity and specificity of this approach based upon the combined expression levels of HLA-DR and VNN2 among CD14+ Mo-MDSC, which we called the DR-Vanin Index or DVI. The DVI was able to distinguish GBM from RN patients with a high degree of certainty (n = 18 and n = 6 respectively; p = 0.0004). This novel, quick and inexpensive blood-based liquid biopsy could potentially replace invasive brain biopsies in differentiating GBM from RN patients using a minimally-invasive technique.
Journal of Neuro-Oncology – Springer Journals
Published: May 27, 2017
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