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Now Bhaduri and Elizabeth Di Lullo, PhD, a fellow postdoctoral researcher in the laboratory of Arnold Kriegstein, MD, PhD, at the UCSF Eli and Edythe Broad Center for Regeneration Medicine and Stem Cell Research, have for the first time succeeded in keeping a diverse array of glioblastomas alive in the lab using brain organoids -; balls of simple brain tissue grown from human stem cells.
"The tumors take to our organoid models nearly 100 percent of the time, meaning that we can finally study the full spectrum of glioblastomas in the lab," Di Lullo said.
In a study published January 2, 2020 in Cell Stem Cell , Bhaduri, Di Lullo, and colleagues first created an atlas of glioblastomas taken from surgical treatment of human patients, cataloguing dozens of distinct cell types and these cells' expression of distinctive patterns of genes. They then used organoids grown from human stem cells to model how these genetically identified cancer cell types behave in human brain tissue.
They discovered that glioblastomas do not appear to originate from a single cell type -; what other researchers have called a "glioblastoma stem cell" -; but instead arise from multiple kinds of seed cells, including one that looks and behaves very much like a neuronal stem cell Kriegstein's lab discovered a decade ago, called an outer radial glia (oRG) cell. Source:
UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center Journal reference:
Bhaduri, A., et al. (2020) Outer Radial Glia-like Cancer Stem Cells Contribute to Heterogeneity of Glioblastoma. Cell Stem Cell . doi.org/10.1016/j.stem.2019.11.015 .
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