Expression of the stem cell marker CD133 in recurrent glioblastoma and its value for prognosis

Roberto Pallini, Lucia Ricci-Vitiani, Nicola Montano, Cristiana Mollinari, Mauro Biffoni, Tonia Cenci, Francesco Pierconti, Maurizio Martini, Ruggero De Maria, Luigi Maria Larocca

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Experimental data suggest that glioblastoma cells expressing the stem cell marker CD133 play a major role in radiochemoresistance and tumor aggressiveness. To date, however, there is no clinical evidence that the fraction of CD133-positive cells in glioblastoma that recurs after radiochemotherapy may be relevant for prognosis. METHODS: The authors used immunohistochemistry to assess CD133 expression in 37 paired glioblastoma samples, including 1 primary tumor sample and 1 recurrent tumor sample, after patients received adjuvant radiochemotherapy. To assess the actual composition of the CD133-positive glioblastoma cell population, fluorescence-associated cell sorting (FACS) analysis was used to sort CD133-positive/CD45-negative cells that were assayed for tumor-specific chromosomal aberrations using interphase fluorescence in situ hybridization. To rule out endothelial precursor cells, CD133-positive fractions also were assayed with anti-CD34 by FACS. RESULTS: In recurrent glioblastomas, the percentage of CD133-positive cells was increased by 4.6-fold compared with the percentage in primary glioblastomas, although, in some tumors, it increased up to 10-fold and 20-fold. Unexpectedly, the increase in CD133 expression was associated significantly with longer survival after tumor recurrence. An analysis of tumor-specific chromosomal aberrations and in vivo studies revealed that the CD133-positive cell compartment of recurrent glioblastoma was composed of both cancer stem cells and nontumor neural stem cells. The latter cells represented from 20% to 60% of the CD133-positive cell population, and their relative percentage favorably affected the survival of patients with recurrent glioblastoma. Endothelial CD133-positive/CD34-positive precursors did not contribute to the CD133-positive cell population. CONCLUSIONS: The authors hypothesized that, similar to the phenomenon described in glioblastoma models, neural stem/progenitor cells that are recruited by the tumor from surrounding brain may exert an antitumorigenic effect.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)162-174
Number of pages13
JournalCancer
Volume117
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2011

Keywords

  • cancer stem cells
  • CD133
  • glioblastoma
  • tumor recurrence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology

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